Marijuana Legalization and Impact on the Workplace


Cannabis use is not positively associated with elevated rates of occupational accidents or injuries

  • "Legalizing medical marijuana was associated with a 19.5% reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities among workers aged 25-44. ... The association between legalizing medical marijuana and workplace fatalities among workers aged 25-44 grew stronger over time. Five years after coming into effect, MMLs were associated with a 33.7% reduction in the expected number of workplace fatalities. MMLs that listed pain as a qualifying condition or allowed collective cultivation were associated with larger reductions in fatalities among workers aged 25-44 than those that did not. ... The results provide evidence that legalizing medical marijuana improved workplace safety for workers aged 25-44."
  • "There is no or insufficient evidence to support ... a statistical association between cannabis use and ... occupational accidents or injuries."
  • Employees who test positive for marijuana in workplace drug tests are no more likely to be involved in occupational accidents as compared to those who test negative. "This study fell short of finding an association between marijuana use and involvement of workplace accidents. ... This study cannot be taken as definitive evidence of absence of an association between marijuana and work related accidents but the findings are compelling."
  • "[I]t is not clear that heavy cannabis users represent a meaningful job safety risk unless using before work or on the job; urine tests have poor validity and low sensitivity to detect employees who represent a safety risk; ... [and] urinalysis has not been shown to have a meaningful impact on job injury/accident rates."

Liberalized marijuana laws are associated greater labor participation, lower rates of absenteeism, and higher wages