Can Worker’s Compensation Cover Medical Marijuana

  • Posted on: May 24 2022
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Many courts continue to struggle to decide if the cost of medical marijuana should be covered by worker’s compensation. In fact, many courts are ruling for the costs to be covered and having the injured compensated for reimbursement of medical marijuana purchases and to cover costs in the future.

Not only that, but many state supreme courts are also ruling to allow medical marijuana to be covered and reimbursed for injuries reported to worker’s compensation. Plus, with many states adopting medical marijuana as a law, many states require that it be covered. Despite this, there are some states that do not require medical marijuana to be covered and do not mandate the reimbursement of costs. Within Pennsylvania, an initial ruling allowed medical coverage, while a bill has been floating around that would not require the coverage of medical marijuana.

Other states have tried to deny the coverage of medical marijuana and any reimbursements but only failed in the process. Within Alabama, a law exists that protects an employer and its insurers from covering medical marijuana along with any reimbursements.

Determining Under the Influence

When it comes to determining if worker’s compensation will be approved, it must be determined if a worker was under the influence at the time of injury. Many standards are set in place that can recognize whether under the influence took place. However, each state has different standards. Other differences involve other impairments and intoxication indicators. This is making states consider whether an impact is made on marijuana that has been legalized for workers’ compensation purposes and the way to decide if marijuana intoxication has taken place.

With the introduction of legislation covering intoxication standards, it will be hard to tell if intoxication is taking place and how an impact could take place for workers’ compensation benefits when an employee was considered as being impaired while getting injured on the job. There is even some legislation that if an individual is refusing a drug test or fails a required drug test, then it can be assumed that impairment had taken place. Some states have exclusions for this type of legislation which covers medical marijuana.

Current law in North Dakota allows for a rebuttal that presumes marijuana caused an injury if the limit is a certain amount during a drug test. A refusal to take a drug test automatically denies a workers’ compensation claim. In Nevada, a law exists that covers the standards of under the influence of any controlled substance as well as marijuana for the purposes of workers’ compensation. An exception exists for those who have a medical marijuana prescription that is legal and current.

Conclusion

While medical marijuana has been a huge debate for being covered by workers’ compensation, the fact remains that the ultimate decision for coverage is left to the courts. If you feel like you should be covered by workers’ compensation for your medical marijuana, then you need to get a hold of our office today.

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