Some of the latest cannabis research coming out of legal states in the US is certainly jaw-dropping, and this latest research is no exception: States that have previously adopted medical cannabis laws have seen a significant drop in workplace fatalities amongst their members of staff.
The study was carried out by Mark Anderson of Montana State University, Daniel Rees of the University of Colorado and Erdal Tekin of American University. These three economists had been investigating how deaths in the workplace had changed following the adoption of local medical cannabis laws.
Highly significant decrease
In all the data, the largest decrease in fatalities following weed legalisation was found to be a huge 19.5% – which was for adults between the ages of 25 and 44. This figure also took into account any possible economic or demographic factors which could potentially affect the numbers.
A decrease of nearly 20% is without doubt highly significant from a statistical point of view.
Safer than prescription drugs
It has been suggested by the authors of the study that the possible reduction in fatal workplace injuries may be a direct result of people using medical cannabis as opposed to other more dangerous prescription drugs like opioids to deal with their health issues.
‘Because the use of alcohol at work is associated with a substantial increase in the risk of injury, and because non-habitual opioid use slows reflexes and impairs cognitive functioning, the enactment of MMLs [medical marijuana laws] could, in theory, make workplaces safer.’
In the research, rates of fatal work injuries were taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries program for the years between 1992 and 2015. This bureau is responsible for compiling yearly figures on deaths that occur in the workplace in the United States.
By examining this data, they were able to compare the number of deaths that occurred between states that had medical cannabis laws and those that do not.
Other data in the US has pointed to an effect which would corroborate this data. It found that cannabis use amongst the workforce has increased in the last several years, and drug tests for dangerous opioids have been rapidly declining from their major peak in 2015.
As well as these amazing findings, you may be interested to hear that the introduction of medical cannabis has been responsible for a reduction in suicides in US states where cannabis is legal.
These latest findings confirm that cannabis offers incredible therapeutic effects that can reduce suffering and even death – in the workplace and out of it.