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The Washington Independent

Medical marijuana not a threat to workplace safety, study finds

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | June 09, 2011 | Tyrese Griffin
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Do states with legalized medical marijuana see an increase in employment related injuries or illnesses? You could probably argue the point either way, but what do the statistics show?

A study of workplace safety in Oregon shows clearly that going to work in that state gets safer every year. It’s one of the steadiest graphs you could ever see.

So, what happened when Oregon legalized medical marijuana way back in 1998? Nothing. What happened when the number of users went from 10,000 to 40,000? Nothing. Workplaces continue to get safer with nary a bump of any kind.

From Examiner.com:

During testimony in 2009 in the House Business & Labor Committee, members of the business lobby Associated Oregon Industries fought against a bill to recognize workplace rights for medical marijuana patients. Michael Adamski of The Stoller Group, a temporary labor agency, stated it was “irresponsible” to allow employed medical marijuana patients “to have marijuana in their systems, putting the safety of everyone around them in jeopardy.”

Yet data on workplace safety and productivity since the advent of the medical marijuana program show that claim to be unfounded. Prior to the beginning of the medical marijuana program, workplace injuries and illnesses that contributed to a lost workday stood at 3.4 per 100 full-time workers; in 2009 that rate is 2.3 per 100, a decline of 32%.

These declines occurred while the medical marijuana patient registry grew by an average of a little more than 50% per year.

Commenting on the research, NORML Outreach Coordinator Russ Belville said, “While correlation does not equal causation – we can’t say medical marijuana laws made the workplaces safer – we certainly do not see any correlation between Oregon workplace safety statistics and Associated Oregon Industries’ scaremongering about the threat of patients in the workplace.”

Tyrese Griffin | Tyrese started her education in the performing arts at the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Academy in Los Angeles. She returned to civilian life after serving in the United States Army as a tracked vehicle operator, and started writing short stories and screenplays, as well as directing short films and music videos. She has published six novels, which have sold over 200,000 copies, as well as audiobooks and short stories for anthologies, and has earned several awards.

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