Opinions Shifting on Marijuana Use

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Marsha Fisher
800.699.8011 x 71428

Raleigh, N.C. (November 26, 2019)

As more and more states create laws permitting recreational use of marijuana, opinions on the use of marijuana may be starting to shift. In a recent poll commissioned by employee wellbeing support provider Workplace Options, 21 percent of employees polled said they would have a problem working with someone if they knew they used marijuana recreationally. That is a significant decrease when compared to a similar Workplace Options’ poll commissioned in 2014 where 33 percent of employees reported it would be problem.

The two polls also show that within just five years, the number of employees reporting they had a coworker known to be using marijuana increased from 36 percent to 50 percent. In addition, the 2019 poll revealed that 37 percent of poll participants knew a co-worker who had missed work due to marijuana or other drug use.

“While some people consider marijuana to be harmless, research shows that it can cloud people’s judgement, interfere with the ability to focus and slow down reaction time,” shares Dean Debnam, Chief Executive Officer at Workplace Options. “As more states legalize the use of marijuana, employers need to consider the potential impact this could have on workplace safety, as well as productivity.”

In this year’s poll, 11 percent of participants reported they had used marijuana in the last three months. The percentage was highest, at 34 percent, among those between the ages of 18 and 29.

Other interesting information coming from the poll:

  • 52 percent of employees said their confidence in a co-worker would not change if they knew they used marijuana recreationally. That has increased from 44 percent in the 2014 poll.
  • 12 percent of poll participants said they had used marijuana within 12 hours of the start of a work day.
  • Of those who reported they had used marijuana with 12 hours of the start of a work day, 39 percent said they had done so “several times.”
  • Poll participants living in states where marijuana was legal for recreational usage were more likely (17 percent vs. 9 percent) to have used marijuana in the last three months, compared to those in states where it was illegal.

Less than half (48 percent) of the poll participants reported their employer offered some type of information, resources or support for substance use. More than half (54 percent) said they would use or recommend to a co-worker information, resources or support provided by their employer.

“There are a range of services employers can provide to help support employees and their families dealing with substance use,” shares Debnam.  “This includes providing Work-Life assistance to help employees locate treatment facilities and EAP support to address emotional wellbeing. We believe that employee issues with substance use will persist, so the more resources we can make available, the better chance we have of keeping our workforce healthy.”

The national poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling on October 31 – November 2, 2019, and is based on responses from 588 working Americans. The margin of error is +/- 4.0 percent. Full results are available HERE. For more information about Workplace Options, visit www.workplaceoptions.com or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

For more information about Workplace Options, visit www.workplaceoptions.com or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.



About Workplace Options

Workplace Options helps employees balance their work, family and personal needs to become healthier, happier and more productive, both personally and professionally. The company’s world-class employee support, effectiveness and wellbeing services provide information, resources, referrals and consultation on a variety of issues ranging from dependent care and stress management to clinical services and wellness programs.

Drawing from an international network of credentialed providers and professionals, Workplace Options is the world’s largest integrated employee support and work-life services provider. Service centers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Portugal, France, Belgium, UAE, Singapore, Japan, China, India and Indonesia support more than 58 million employees across 90,000 organizations and more than 200 countries and territories. To learn more, visit www.workplaceoptions.com.