Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

Thursday, February 13, 2020

"Medical marijuana and workers' compensation claiming"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new paper authored by Keshar Ghimire and Johanna Catherine Maclean appearing in the journal Health Economics.  Because I was just today talking with students about metrics for measuring the efficacy of medical marijuana programs, this new piece caught my eye.  Here is its abstract:

We study the effect of state medical marijuana laws (MMLs) on workers' compensation (WC) claiming among adults.  Medical marijuana is plausibly related to WC claiming by allowing improved symptom management, and thus reduced need for the benefit, among injured or ill workers.  We use data on claiming drawn from the Annual Social and Economic supplement to the Current Population Survey over the period 1989 to 2012, coupled with a differences‐in‐differences design to provide the first evidence on this relationship.  Our estimates show that, post MML, WC claiming declines, both the propensity to claim and the level of income from WC.  These findings suggest that medical marijuana can allow workers to better manage symptoms associated with workplace injuries and illnesses and, in turn, reduce need for WC.  However, the reductions in WC claiming post MML are very modest in size. 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2020/02/medical-marijuana-and-workers-compensation-claiming.html

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