Study: "No Association Between Cannabis Use & Work-Related Injury"

A new study has found that the presumed link between cannabis use and work-place injuries mightn't be as solid as employers once thought.

Despite changing legislation surrounding cannabis, which has seen the plant become increasingly legal across a host of different states and countries, drug tests (that test for cannabis) are still a common occurrence in many workplaces.

Whether it's because an employee is using machinery, has to drive a vehicle, or is an athlete, they can find themselves having to suspend their cannabis use while employed to avoid losing their jobs due to a positive drug test.

The issue with the current drug testing regulations, however, is that as the medicinal benefits of cannabis become more well known, and more patients begin to use cannabinoid medications, the risks of them losing their job due to using the plant remain the same.

This is something we covered recently with Elias Theodorou, the professional MMA fighter and cannabis advocate, who, due to regulatory protocol, was forced to take a variety of opioid medications to attempt to treat his bilateral neuropathy before he was allowed to try cannabis medications.

Though this could all be about to change, thanks to a recent study entitled 'Cannabis use and work-related injuries: a cross-sectional analysis' that was published in the Occupational Medicine magazine, which found that:

"Among the 136 536 working participants, 2577 (2%) had a work-related injury in the last 12 months. Of these 2577 who had a work-related injury, 4% also reported being a cannabis user in the same period. We found no association between past-year cannabis use and work-related injury (odds ratio for work injury among users 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.66–0.99). The association was unchanged in the subgroup analysis limited to high injury risk occupational groups."

The study used participants who had consumed cannabis more than once within the past twelve months, which admittedly could involve many participants who weren't using cannabis regularly. As such, more research is needed to make conclusive statements about the precise impacts cannabis can have within a workplace.

However, it is indisputable that cannabis laws are changing more quickly than many of the regulations surrounding cannabis, and in order to avoid an influx of medical cannabis patients being arrested for roadside drug tests, and workplace drug tests, a review of current policies is necessary.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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