Contrary to the prohibitionist claim that legalizing marijuana hurts employment, a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) revealed that the change actually creates more job prospects. According to researchers from San Diego State University and Bentley University, their investigation, which compared employment and wage trends in states with and without adult-use legalization, is a pioneer study to examine the effects of recreational marijuana legalization (RML) on the market for employment among people of working age.
The study would have revealed “significant negative repercussions” on the economy and industry if prohibitionists’ contention that decriminalization would impede job outcomes and employment opportunities by posing a health and safety risk were accurate. However, the analysis did not uncover any proof to back up those assertions.
Instead, the working paper’s data provide some indication that RML implementation is related to modest improvements in adult-job opportunities in the agriculture industry, associated with the establishment of a more legitimate market for marijuana cultivation and production. California, Colorado and to a lesser extent Oregon witnessed increases in agricultural opportunities among the early adopting states.
Additionally, there is some indication that RML implementation is related to small, typically short-run job improvements for Hispanics as well as for individuals over 30 years of age, according to the report.
The researchers asserted that the hiring and earnings effects were usually negligible and sometimes positive because they used methodologies such as the study of events to analyze both pre-decriminalization patterns and evaluations of after-treatment variations in job market effects. The conclusion was that the economic stability of those of employment age is only marginally affected by the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Researchers also investigated the potential economic benefits of legalizing marijuana for adult use versus medical marijuana laws (MMLs). Granting access to a larger population, for instance, may enhance the labor deficit and create new economic openings.
However, it is also typical for reforms to the criminal justice system, such as expungements, to be included in recreational legalization legislation. RMLs may thus have a significant impact on the employment and earning potential of young males with a significantly increased proclivity for marijuana possession arrest because they reduce the general risk of being convicted of a crime.
As a result of this new lawful market, there is a greater likelihood that jobs in sales and agriculture will increase, perhaps combined with employee wages as well.
However, the study did not attempt to determine whether cannabis use proactively enhances work performance. Instead, it examined broader economic changes in the wake of legalization’s implementation of policies, which it linked to somewhat higher average adult consumption.
According to the authors, legalization may have favorable implications for hiring and earnings. The emergence of a legal business, which may involve marijuana manufacturing and cultivation as well as sales of legal marijuana at recreational marijuana stores, could increase employment.
Furthermore, labor market prospects may improve — or at least be no worse off — if legal access to cannabis encourages switching away from drugs that have adverse effects on productivity, such as painkillers or excessive drinking. Additionally, if cannabis is successful at treating physical illnesses, reducing stress or enhancing mental well-being, such positive effects could have a favorable impact on the job market.
The results are essentially in line with earlier assessments, such as one dated 2021 that discovered legalization is linked to higher employee productivity and fewer workplace accidents.
Businesses have begun changing their substance-testing practices as a result of the state decriminalization movement, and strict regulations barring employers from using cannabis while they are hiring have also been connected to smaller talent pools for companies. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently suggested modifying a number of employment application forms for potential employees in ways that may consider past marijuana consumption more leniently than under existing policy, even at the federal level where marijuana is strictly outlawed.
The mushrooming of companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) that seek to develop therapeutic formulations from cannabis compounds also further boosts the high-paying employment opportunities in these specialized firms.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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