January 14, 2019

August 14, 2018

Workplace laws and legal medical marijuana programs don’t go well with each other. In general, employers consider the use of medical cannabis as a paramount concern for workplace safety. For that matter, many employers put a ban on the use of medical marijuana on the premises.

In addition, workers compensation rules don’t provide much clarity on the claims involving the use of medical cannabis. Amid this intense cautiousness regarding the impact of MMJ use on workplace safety, a recent drug policy research suggests something else.

A study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy examines the connection between MMJ and workplace deaths. The study has used the statistics from the last 23 years from all 50 states and divided the workers into two age groups. Database of Bureau of Labor has been used to retrieve the required information.

Workplace laws and legal medical marijuana programs
Workplace laws and legal medical marijuana programs – Image powered by Eplaceinc.com

For the age group 25-44, the researchers noted that there is a drop of 19.5 percent in the number of workplace deaths in the states where medical marijuana is legal. For the age group of 16-24, a smaller dip in workplace fatalities has been recorded. On the whole, the report concludes that legalization of medical marijuana hasn’t increased the rate of workplace fatalities.

The report has rather found an association between declining workplace fatalities and legal medical cannabis. Over the course of five years, there was a significant reduction (33.7 percent) in the number of expected deaths. In short, one can say that legal medical marijuana is actually making workspaces safer.

The researchers went into more details to investigate the relationship between legal MMJ and workplace deaths. According to the report, the states, where chronic pain is listed as a qualifying condition and home cultivation is allowed, have seen a significant dip in workplace fatalities. This observation might suggest that the accessibility of medical marijuana also plays a role in reducing the number of workplace deaths.

Legalizing Marijuana
Legalizing Marijuana – Image powered by Merryjane.com

The perception that the use of medical marijuana puts workers at more risks stems from the short-term effects of THC on cognition and psychomotor performance. However, many people don’t take into account the fact that many patients use MMJ products rich in CBD, which doesn’t have psychoactive attributes. In other words, people who have administered CBD-based MMJ products are not high at work. Therefore, no link can be found between workplace accidents or fatalities and use of medical marijuana.

The researchers on the drug policy report have inferred an interesting connection between reduced workplace deaths and use of legal medical cannabis. They have mentioned previous reports suggesting that MMJ legalization leads to a significant reduction in the use of opioid, alcohol and other such substance known to cause substantial cognitive blackouts and motor impairment. This implies that workers in legal states are using less of those substances, which makes them less deadly at workspaces and therefore the rate of fatal workplace accidents in MMJ legal states have significantly dropped in last five years.

The authors of the study have called for more research on the subject to completely dispel the notion that the use of MMJ poses workplace dangers.

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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