New research has found a connection between legal marijuana and more job opportunities.
Conducted by researchers from San Diego State and Bentley Universities, the study examined survey results from 2002-2020 in an attempt to explore the impact of legal marijuana on the economy.
The analysis was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research and found that legal adult marijuana laws had little impact on work productivity, a topic that’s long been a concern for anti-proponents of the drug. Instead, the data discovered evidence of more job opportunities and rates in the nascent industry, especially in adults over the age of 30.
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Other demographics that were positively impacted included young racial minorities and people working within the agriculture sector.
“These results are consistent with the opening of a new licit industry for marijuana and (especially for older individuals) a substitution away from harder substances such as opioids,” said researchers.
While the research is related to the topic of productivity and weed, it differed from similar studies in focusing wholly on economic trends post-legal marijuana and in the fact that there’s a new industry and thus a new source of jobs.
Researchers theorized that not only did legal cannabis result in more work opportunities, it also kept users away from more dangerous substances.
When it comes to the black market and its harms, the establishment of a legal market eliminated criminal activity and a source of oppression for marginalized people, among them, young men of color, who have been historically targeted by law enforcement.
“Longer-run labor market effects may differ as we learn about the effects of RMLs on cognitive development and human capital acquisition of those under age 21, which could take time to unfold and be reflected in market level effects on productivity, wages, and/or employment,” concludes the study. “Moreover, the labor market effects of reductions in criminal records could also take time to unfold.”
While more research is necessary to develop a clear picture of marijuana’s effect on the economy, this is good news for marijuana proponents, and for anyone who’s interested in getting a job in a new and developing field of work.