Medical marijuana is contributing to the overall health of a significant number of older Americans, providing them with more opportunities to get back to work, according to a recent scientific exploration first published by the folks at the Washington Post.
Researchers from John Hopkins and Temple University have released a working paper that suggests medical marijuana laws are allowing more older people to get back into the workforce because they are in significantly better shape than their peers living in prohibition states.
In a comparison of states with medical marijuana laws on the books and those where the herb remains illegal, researchers found the “passage of [a medical marijuana law] leads to a 9.4 percent increase in the probability of employment and a 4.6 percent to 4.9 percent increase in hours worked per week,” in people 50 years old and over.
The study found that older men living in states where marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes were around five percent more likely to proclaim being in either “very good or “excellent” health.
Interestingly, the majority of men said they felt better because they were in less pain. Researchers found a 10 percent decline in pain-riddled men in states where medical marijuana is legal.
As for those members of the female persuasion, medical marijuana laws did not bring about the same result.
“Surprisingly, among women we find evidence that passage of [a medical marijuana law] that provides legal access to the product increases the probability of reporting pain in the full sample by 1.3 percentage points (3.8 percent),” the paper reads, adding, however, that women living in medical marijuana states still reported feeling healthier.
While it is somewhat confusing as to why men and women would offer differing responses in respect to pain, previous research could provide help provide some clarity. Last month, Columbia University published a study that showed more men experience pain relief through the use of marijuana than women. However, researchers associated with the study still have no idea why this phenomenon exists.
This is not the first time research has shown medical marijuana laws benefiting older Americans. Last year, a study from San Diego State University and Cornell University found that medical marijuana laws, at least where older folks are concerned, “are associated with an increase in physical wellness and frequent exercise.”
The latest study shows that people who walk through life pain free (and not addicted to painkillers) are more apt to take a more focused interest in self-preservation—an indication that medical marijuana laws have the potential to improve the quality of life of those people drifting into the golden years.
Related: 10 Reasons Your Grandparents Should Use Pot
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