Medical marijuana laws may affect workers’ compensation claims
A study on the effect of state medical marijuana laws on workers’ compensation claims
New research published in Health Economics indicates that after US states passed medical marijuana laws, workers’ compensation claims declined.
The results indicate that medical marijuana may allow workers to better manage symptoms associated with workplace injuries and illnesses and, in turn, reduce the need for workers’ compensation. The reductions in workers’ compensation claims after states passed medical marijuana laws were very modest, however.
“The findings suggest additional benefits to expanded access to medical marijuana: increased work capacity and less reliance on social insurance programs among workers,” said corresponding author Johanna Catherine Maclean, PhD, of Temple University. “Policy makers may wish to consider these benefits when considering medical marijuana regulation.”
Twenty-five states and counting have legalised marijuana in some form. As states continue to issue conflicting rulings on how medical marijuana affects workers’ compensation, employers and insurers face a challenge to navigate various workers’ compensation boards with differing guidance and advice. In the future, when it comes to medical marijuana, employers and employees can likely expect a different type of workers’ compensation system across the nation.
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