Economics

Medical marijuana and elderly labor

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Science  01 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6430, pp. 942-943
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6430.942-a

Access to medical marijuana allows greater numbers of older adults to engage in full-time employment.

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The legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes in several U.S. states is intended to improve health, particularly among elderly adults. Nicholas and Maclean investigated whether the introduction of such medical marijuana laws also has effects on labor supply among elderly adults. Using health and labor survey data, they found that older adults report reduced pain and increased overall health and that they are more likely to engage in full-time employment after the introduction of medical marijuana into a state. These effects are concentrated among those whose medical status qualifies them for a prescription of medical marijuana. These results suggest that providing older adults with access to medical marijuana may have beneficial effects on the older adult labor supply.

J. Policy Anal. Manage. 10.1002/pam.22122 (2019).

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