Study: Legalizing Medical Marijuana Associated with a Large Decrease in Workplace Fatalities

According to a new study published by the International Journal of Drug Policy, the legalization of medical marijuana is associated with a large decrease in workplace fatalities .

According to its abstract, the aim of the study “was to determine the association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities.” Using data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia between 1992 and 2015 (obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics), regression models were adjusted for state demographics, the unemployment rate, state fixed effects, and year fixed effects.

“Legalizing medical marijuana was associated with a 19.5% reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities among workers aged 25–44”, states the study. This associated “grew stronger over time”, rising to a 33.7% reduction five years after medical marijuana legalization took effect.

Researchers found that medical marijuana laws “that listed pain as a qualifying condition or allowed collective cultivation were associated with larger reductions in fatalities among workers aged 25–44 than those that did not.”

The association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities among workers aged 16–24, “although negative, was not statistically significant at conventional levels.”

The study concludes by stating that :The results provide evidence that legalizing medical marijuana improved workplace safety for workers aged 25–44. Further investigation is required to determine whether this result is attributable to reductions in the consumption of alcohol and other substances that impair cognitive function, memory, and motor skills.

The full study can be found by clicking here.