Recreational Marijuana Laws Tied to Increase in Workplace Injuries

Findings seen for young adults aged 20 to 34 years
Recreational Marijuana Laws Tied to Increase in Workplace Injuries
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, March 1, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) that allow recreational marijuana sales are associated with an increase in workplace injuries among young adults, according to a research letter published online Feb. 23 in JAMA Health Forum.

Ling Li, Ph.D., from University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Somers, and colleagues evaluated the association between RML adoption and workplace injuries in younger workers (aged 20 to 34 years). The analysis included workplace injury data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

The researchers found that when controlling for marijuana policies, state dummies, and year dummies, RML adoption was associated with a statistically significant 12.9 percent increase (β, 0.121) in workplace injuries per 100 full-time workers. In fully adjusted models, the estimated increase was 9.6 percent (β, 0.092). RML adoption that allowed for recreational sales was associated with an 8.4 percent increase (β, 0.081) in the fully adjusted specification. Recreational sales (e.g., dispensaries) were associated with an 11.9 percent increase (β, 0.112) in workplace injuries per 100 full-time workers and a 10.0 percent increase (β, 0.095) in injuries per 100 persons in the fully adjusted regressions. There was no association with injuries for RMLs that did not allow sales.

"Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that recreational marijuana impedes cognitive function and care among younger workers," the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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