Study: Medical Cannabis Access Associated with Fewer Workers’ Comp Claims

The enactment of state-specific medical cannabis access laws is associated with a decline in workers’ compensation claims, according to data published in the journal Health Economics.

A team of researchers affiliated with Temple University in Pennsylvania and the University of Cincinnati in Ohio assessed the relationship between medical marijuana legalization laws and workers’ compensation claims over a 23-year period.

Authors reported that legal cannabis access was associated with a nearly seven percent decline in workers’ compensation claims.

“Post MML, workers’ compensation claiming declines, both the propensity to claim and the level of income from workers’ comp,” authors determined. “These findings suggest that medical marijuana can allow workers to better manage symptoms associated with workplace injuries and illnesses and, in turn, reduce need for workers’ compensation.”

They concluded: “Our findings add to the small, but growing, literature on the effects of MMLs on labor market outcomes. On net, the available findings suggest that MML passage may increase work capacity among older adults, reduce work absences, improve workplace safety, and reduce WC (workers’ compensation) claiming and the pain and suffering associated with workplace injuries.”

An abstract of the study, “Medical marijuana and workers’ compensation claiming,” is online here. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, “Marijuana Legalization and Impact on the Workplace,” here.