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Medical marijuana has been legalized in many states across the U.S., however, it has led to the surprising consequence of increased disability claims.  After the passage of state medical marijuana laws, researchers from Temple University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Cincinnati found that there is an increased in the probability that people will make Social Security Disability Insurance claims.  On average, SSDI claims rose 9.9% post medical marijuana legalization, while the actual SSDI benefits paid out rose by 2.6%.

Researchers also studied the effects of medical marijuana legalization on workers’ compensation claims, however, did not find any statistically significant evidence to share.  The data did suggest, generally, that medical marijuana legalization does cause a general increase in workers’ compensation claims.

While adults ages 41-62 remained consistent in their SSDI claims, it was adults ages 23-40 who upped their claims post medical marijuana legalization.  Post medical marijuana legalization, this age groups SSDI claims increased 24% and their workers compensation claims increased 15%.

As of 2016, the SSDI and workers’ compensation programs cost the federal government roughly $208 billion annually, and with the increase of states allowing medical marijuana, and the correlated effects of increased SSDI and WC claims, that number is bound to go up.

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