October 4, 2016

Legalizing Medical Cannabis Increases Workplace Participation Among those 50 and Older

October 4, 2016
workplace participation

The legalization of medical cannabis increases workplace participation among those aged 50 and older. This is according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

According to the research, “health improvements experienced by both groups (older men and women) permit increased participation in the labor market”, which led to a “9.4 percent increase in the probability of employment and a 4.6 percent to 4.9 percent increase in hours worked per week”.

The paper – titled The impact of medical marijuana laws on the labor supply and health of older adults: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study – concludes by stating that; “Medical marijuana law implementation leads to increases in labor supply among older adult men and women”, and that “These effects should be considered as policymakers determine how best to regulate access to medical marijuana.”

To determine this, researchers at the John Hopkins School of Public Health and Temple University examined decades worth of data from the Health and Retirement Study, and studied how implementation of medical cannabis laws altered workforce participation.

The full paper can be found by clicking here.

The results are similar to those of a study published in July in the journal Health Economics; that study found that following medical cannabis legalization, full-time employees between the ages of 50 and 59 were 13% less likely to report absences due to sickness; those ages 40 to 49 were 11% less likely, and those aged 30 to 39 were 16% less likely. It concludes by saying that; “The results of this paper therefore suggest that medical marijuana legalization would decrease costs for employers as it has reduced self-reported absence from work due to illness/medical issues.”


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