High Stakes: Recreational Marijuana Policies and Workplace Injuries Among Young Adults

A new study published in JAMA Health Forum found that there was a significant uptick in workplace injuries among younger adults aged 20 to 34 years after recreational marijuana legalization policies enacted. Using state-by-year workplace injury data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, researchers discovered compelling insights.

Before the implementation of recreational marijuana legalization policies, there was no association with workplace injuries. However, following the enactment of such policies, workplace injuries per 100 full-time workers rose by 9.6% and the injury rate per 100 persons increased by 8.4%.

Delving deeper into the analysis, researchers found an even stronger correlation with policies permitting recreational marijuana sales such as through stores. The data revealed an 11.9% increase in workplace injuries per 100 full-time workers and a 10% increase in injuries per 100 persons.

These findings highlight the concern for impaired workers and the compromised state of workplace safety. It is imperative for workplaces to rigorously enforce drug-free policies and actively support their employees in maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. Click here to access resources and learn more about drug-free workplaces.