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The link between marijuana policies and workplace injuries

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Workers' Compensation, Workplace Injuries

For the past several years, adults in California are allowed to use marijuana recreationally. However, while you might not get in trouble for using it, it could increase your risk of getting hurt at work. According to one study, recreational marijuana laws (RMLs) were responsible for a 12.9% increase in workplace injuries for every 100 full-time workers between the age of 20 and 34.

The risk associated with various policies

According to the study conducted by a University of Wisconsin-Parkside researcher, the actual risk of injury depended on the exact policies enacted. For instance, if the RML allowed for recreational sales of marijuana, the risk of workplace injury increased by 8.4% in fully adjusted model runs. There was an increase of 10% in fully adjusted models in areas where dispensaries were allowed to make sales of marijuana. However, the study noted that there was no link between workplace injuries caused by marijuana use and not enacting recreational sales as part of an RML strategy.

Potential side effects of marijuana

Marijuana use can result in slower reaction time as well as impairment in your ability to process information. Therefore, you may be at a higher risk of crashing a forklift into a display or dropping a box of heavy items onto a colleague’s head. You may also have issues with motor function, which means that you struggle to retain control over your body movements.

If you are hurt at work, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits. However, your request could be denied if you were injured while you were impaired.