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420 with CNW – Colorado Data Shows Drop in Workplace Fatalities After Medical Marijuana Legalization

Researchers from three universities (Montana State University, American University in Washington D.C. and Colorado State University) have analyzed workplace fatality data spanning from 1992 to 2015 and discovered that there were fewer fatal accidents at work once medical cannabis was legalized. The research will be published in October in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

The findings seem to be unexpected given that it has always been known that cannabis use compromises cognition and psychomotor activity, so fatal accidents would increase rather than decrease once medical cannabis use was permitted by law.

However, the data speaks for itself. A 19.5% drop in the expected workplace fatalities was discovered when the U.S. Department of Labor data for the 25-44 age bracket of employees was analyzed.

Furthermore, this reduction seems to increase as time elapses. A drop of 34% in fatal accidents at work was observed five years after legalization. This seems to suggest that the longer medical marijuana stays on the law books, the fewer the fatalities at work.

The researchers were of the opinion that the drop in workplace fatal accidents could be attributed to the reduced use of alcohol and prescription opioids by workers in favor of medical cannabis. This appears to be true given that the reduction in fatalities is statistically significant in those states where pain is one of the conditions for which medical cannabis can be used.

The drop in fatalities pales to insignificant levels when attention focuses on those states where pain isn’t on the list of qualifying conditions for the use of medical marijuana.

The research provides more concrete proof about the gains which can be realized when medical cannabis is permitted by law.

Nevertheless, many states still allow employers to test for and punish employees who are found with cannabis metabolites in their bodies, regardless of whether such an employee was permitted to use medical cannabis or not.

This opens further work for medical cannabis advocates, because the rights of employees need to be protected. After all, one cannot be fired or sanctioned from going to hospital and taking the medication offered, can they? The same understanding should be extended to patients on medical marijuana.

As things stand, patients and advocates can only hope that the wave of medical cannabis decriminalization that is sweeping across the U.S. results in the necessary legal reforms so that users of medical cannabis stop being victimized at work for consuming a legally permitted product. Companies like BLOCKStrain Technology Corp. (TSX.V: DNAX) (OTC: BKKSF) and Cannabis Strategic Ventures, Inc. (OTC: NUGS) know all too well the headaches associated with a mixed bag of conflicting laws.

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