Associations between COVID-19-Related Job Stressors and Marijuana Use in Californian Adult Workers
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Associations between COVID-19-Related Job Stressors and Marijuana Use in Californian Adult Workers

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in the daily lives of many workers. These changes led to increased stress for workers. The effects of the pandemic on the mental health and behavior of the general population and workers are an important public health issue. Job stress has been associated with substance use in workers, specifically alcohol and tobacco use. Substance use has been studied in various populations throughout the pandemic, but there have been fewer studies specifically on marijuana use in workers. However, use of marijuana and cannabis products, in general, has been rising and cannabis is the third most used drug in the United States after alcohol and tobacco. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of COVID-19-related job stressors and marijuana use in the prior month and the prior year. We utilized data from the California Health Interview Survey from 2020. Data from 10,365 Californian workers was assessed in this study. COVID-19-related reductions in work hours, lost jobs, and working from home were considered job stressors. Approximately 4.17% of the study population experienced job loss, 21.02% experienced a reduction in work hours, and 40.21% switched to working from home due to COVID-19. Logistic regression analyses were used to predict the odds of marijuana use within the past month and past year. COVID-19-related job stressors were statistically significantly related to marijuana use within the past month and the past year (p <0.05). These associations remained significant upon adjustment for covariates. Stratified analyses were then conducted to assess whether the associations varied by demographic and socioeconomic strata. Male workers had significant associations between COVID-19-related job stressors and marijuana use within one month and one year. COVID-19-related job loss and marijuana use were significantly associated for the Black and Hispanic groups and lower income groups. Working from home due to COVID-19 tended to be significantly associated with marijuana use in Whites, Asians, and Hispanics and in higher educational and income groups. Overall, associations between job stressors and marijuana use during COVID-19 were significant across Californian workers. This suggests that job stressors due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be related to marijuana use in workers. Our results warrant further investigation of how and why job stressors differentially impact demographic groups. Additionally, research on the burden of marijuana use on these groups and how it affects their relationships, health, and work can help to reveal the scope of the problem and develop mitigation strategies.

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