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MMWR reports that eight states, including Colorado, have legalized recreational marijuana for use by adults and that a study of use in Colorado has shown that nearly 15% of Colorado adult workers have used marijuana in the past 30 days. Use was highest among young adults, especially men, working in the Accommodation/Food Services and Food Preparation/Serving industries.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws legalizing marijuana at the state level for recreational and/or medical purposes. Employers and safety professionals have expressed concerns about potential increases in occupational injuries amongst cannabis users and whether use will be associated with employee impairment.
Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that in 2014 and 2015, more than one in eight adults are current users of marijuana.
Data from the Colorado Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey regarding marijuana use found that 14.6% of 10,169 Colorado workers reported current marijuana use. This highest reported prevalence was among workers in the Accommodation and Food Services industry (30.1%) and Food Preparation and Serving (32.2%) occupations. Understanding the industries and occupations of adults with reported marijuana use can help direct and maximize impact of public health messaging and potential safety interventions for adults.
Current marijuana use was higher among persons aged 18–25 years (29.6%) than among persons aged 26–34 years (18.6%) and persons aged ≥35 years (11.0%), and higher among men (17.2%) than among women (11.3%). The prevalence of marijuana use was similar amongst different race/ethnicity groups (~15%),