Which occupations have the highest prevalence of cannabis use? A Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report reveals which industries and occupations have the highest and lowest percentage of cannabis use in Colorado.

Cannabis In The Workplace

So far, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for either medical or recreational use. In fact, recent data released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that at least one in eight adult residents of the state used cannabis in 2014 and 2015.

Evidently, employers and safety professionals in the said states have expressed their concerns over a potential increase in workplace injuries as a result of the legalization.

To understand the potential effects of marijuana use in the workplace, the CDC analyzed data to see which industries and occupations have the highest prevalence of cannabis use.

CDC Report

To gather their findings, the CDC analyzed details from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System wherein individuals were contacted by telephone to collect basic health information as well as information on their occupation and the industry they are working in. In 2014 and 2015, questions on cannabis use in the last 30 days were added to the survey.

Of the respondents who reported using cannabis in the preceding 30 days, over 29 percent were individuals aged between 18 and 25 years old, 18.6 percent were individuals between 26 and 34 years old, and 11 percent were over 35 years old.

Cannabis use was found to be more prevalent among men than women, and of the respondents, non-Hispanic white people had the highest cannabis use prevalence, followed by Hispanics.

Cannabis Use By Industry And Occupation

Evidently, workers in the Accommodation and Food Services industry had the highest prevalence of current cannabis use at 30.1 percent, followed by the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation industry at 28.3. On the other hand, the industry with the lowest prevalence was found to be the Mining, Oil, and Gas industry with a 5.2 percent prevalence rate, followed by the Utilities, Public Administration, and Education industries, all three with a 5.8 percent cannabis use prevalence rate.

Ranking cannabis use by occupation, it was found that workers with Food Preparation and Serving occupations had a 32.2 percent prevalence rate of cannabis use, and again followed by those with Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media occupations at 27.5 percent. On the other end, those with Healthcare and Technical occupations had the lowest cannabis use prevalence rate at just 3.1 percent.

Workplace Policies

According to the CDC, although the data was just from cannabis users in Colorado, the report may provide employers with the data that they need to create certain cannabis-related workplace policies. For instance, safety-sensitive industries such as Healthcare and Construction may consider looking into their current drug-testing programs, while others may create policies related to drug use tolerance.

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