Survey: One in 10 has Worked on Weed

High at Work

Ever earned a $20 bill … on weed? According to a SurveyMonkey poll conducted by Mashable, one in 10 people in the United States have gone to work while high on marijuana. The poll highlights other drug habits of the American worker, and despite lingering questions, the results help contrast the use of prescription drugs to marijuana.

Mashable distributed their survey to 534 American respondents through the SurveyMonkey Audience service. According to the results of the survey, 9.74 percent of Americans have been at work while under the influence of marijuana. Of the group who has been high at work, 80.77 percent of them got their marijuana illegally.

If one in 10 seems like a lot of people to have been stoned on marijuana while at work, consider that marijuana isn’t the drug of choice for American workers; the survey says over 28 percent of Americans have been on the job while on a prescription medication.

This is not to imply that it is a statistic of abuse though. The survey results say that of the prescription-drug taking workers, only a little over seven percent took prescription drugs recreationally at work, and 95 percent of the prescription drugs reported as being taken were prescribed legally.

The survey has also been mentioned on the Time website. NBC News highlights some of the risks marijuana users face in employment, even in states where marijuana is now legal, businesses can prohibit its use.

Marijuana isn’t the only illegal drug workers use though. Other statistics taken from the Mashable survey say that 3.37 percent of respondents have gone to work high on an illegal drug that was different than marijuana, such as cocaine or heroin. Over 92 percent of respondents consider going to work on marijuana unlikely in the future, while only 1.5 percent of marijuana users see working while high in their future as very likely.

Contrasting these numbers again with prescription drugs, only about 66 percent of respondents see going to work under the influence of prescribed medication as unlikely in the future, with 6.4 percent seeing it as very likely they will take medication at work. Moreover, less than 60 percent of respondents see taking prescribed medication while at work as unlikely, and 7.3 percent think it’s very likely they will pop prescribed medication on the clock.

These numbers appear to highlight two different attitudes for the different drugs. People consider prescription medications to be more acceptable at work than marijuana. Still, the meaning of this distinction isn’t entirely clear, because the question on the survey was only about prescription medication, which could include many drugs that wouldn’t cause any changes to mental faculties.

Furthermore, according to the Mashable infographic reporting the results of the survey, there was a question about the nature of the prescription drug use, whether it was recreational or medical. There was no such question about marijuana use.

It’d be nice if future surveys include these questions. The problem would be categorizing prescription drugs that have a similar effect on a user as marijuana. Aside from that, asking whether marijuana use was medical or recreational at work could help paint a picture of the way workers use the drug. This sort of information could be used to draw more parallels to marijuana and pharmaceuticals, and ultimately lead to greater societal acceptance of marijuana’s therapeutic and health benefits.

Matt Berg is a writer from Northwest Denver. Matt writes on a range of topics including science, music, motorcycles, politics, sports and more. He is always looking for adventure and his next story to tell. Connect with Matt on Twitter: @tomjoad187.

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