Marijuana Legalization Lowers Worker Compensation Claims, Study Reveals

Last modified: February 26, 2020

Currently, there are 33 states that have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. The results? There has been a decline in US worker compensation claims as revealed by the study published in Health Economics.

Several states allowed medical marijuana to help patients with varying conditions, such as PTSD, cancer, depression, and multiple sclerosis. Cannabis also proved helpful in managing inflammation and minor injuries sustained from certain jobs.

The new study features how medical cannabis extends its benefits beyond managing medical conditions. Survey data from the 1989–2012 period was thoroughly analyzed and results showed that marijuana laws caused a 6.7% reduction in worker’s compensation claims for 15-year-olds and above. Drops were also observed in the amount of money paid to workers and the propensity to claim.

According to one of the study authors, Johanna Catherine, the results of the study prove the added benefits brought on by marijuana legalization — workers rely less on social insurance programs and there’s a noticeable increase in workers’ capacity. In fact, the study also observed increased workplace safety and reduced absences due to medical marijuana use among workers.

A different study — published in the International Journal of Drug Policy — supports the above-mentioned notion as it shows just how medical marijuana helped in reducing the rate of workplace fatalities. The study reported a 19.5% decline in the number of expected workplace fatalities in the 25–44 age group after legalizing marijuana.

Indeed, recent studies have shown that marijuana legalization is a tremendous step towards mitigating major healthcare issues. That said, researchers hope that policymakers would consider these improvements when implementing future regulations concerning medical marijuana.

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