2016 wasn’t exactly a great year for many people, but for the booming legal cannabis industry there were some historic victories. Not only did eight of nine states approve ballot measures for adult-use or medical cannabis in November, but there’s been quite a bit of interesting research related to the effects of cannabis legalization.

Contrary to the dire predictions of prohibitionists, society is not crumbling due to the fact that hundreds of millions of Americans live in states with legal medical or adult use cannabis. In fact, many studies are showing that ending prohibition may have a number of positive outcome for societal health (beyond increased freedom and tax revenue).

Below is a short summary of four studies from this past year that show 2016 wasn’t all bad.

Cannabis Study #1: The Effect of Medical Marijuana on Sickness Absence.

Major finding: Workplace absences due to sickness decline following legalization of medical cannabis.

This study utilized the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of ~60,000 U.S. households conducted by the Census Bureau, to look at the association between medical cannabis legalization and workplace absences. It was partially motivated by a previous study which found that alcohol consumption declined following medical marijuana legalization.

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