Medical marijuana use linked with fewer workplace deaths
According to a study of US jurisdictions published in the October 2018 edition of the
International Journal of Drug Policy
, those states which have legalised medical marijuana have experienced a rate of workplace fatalities 20% lower than the expected rate among workers aged 25 to 44.
The effect on workers aged 16 to 24 also indicated fewer workplace deaths, but the effect was not statistically significant for that age group.
Correlation is not necessarily causation, of course, and the paper's authors suggest further work is required to understand what is going on. One possibility they raise is that workers who use medical marijuana may have correspondingly reduced their consumption of other drugs.
This group would include alcohol, other recreational drugs, and some prescription medicines.
What do people think of
, and how plausible is the explanation?
I find the reported outcomes really surprising, and wonder about the scope of the study and its participants, and what the data on non-fatal injury incidents looked like.
It is hard to imagine WorkSafe NZ will ever assert that providing marijuana is a reasonably practicable step for a PCBU to take to improve fatality performance ... but I bet recruitment interest would go through the roof for any PCBU who offered it
Probably because that 20% of the workforce is at home stoned...
I don't think there were any 'participants' as such. That is, the study was entirely data-based. No one was interviewed.
I think it's an interesting start but too early to suggest any conclusions. The assumption in the conclusion is that workplace fatalities are strongly linked to substance abuse, thereby discounting multiple other reasons why people die on the job.
The use of cannabis for medicinal support may, of course, result in better health outcomes and fewer fatalities caused by inattention though pain or similar stresses. Use of cannabis for recreation may result in overall slowing down so less haste; a calmer approach to work with the bonus of a safer workplace.
The use of cannabis for medicinal support should be treated no different than any other prescribed medication when living safely.
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