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Should workers' compensation pay for medical marijuana?

A judge in South Jersey said that workers' compensation should pay for medical marijuana costs earlier this year. The ruling was issued in a case brought by a man who suffered a serious on-the-job injury while working at a lumber company.

The man has been eligible to receive medical marijuana since 2014 due to a job-related hand injury. However, when he purchased 2.25 ounces of state-approved medical marijuana, his employer refused to foot the bill. The cost of the marijuana was approximately $1,000.

After reviewing the facts of the man's case, an administrative law judge ruled that the man's workers' compensation insurance should pay for his medical marijuana -- especially because the negative effects of marijuana were far less than Percocet. Furthermore, the man had been able to lessen his ingestion of oral narcotics as a result of the medical marijuana.

The judge further wrote that the man had been responsible when using medication to treat his condition, and that his use of marijuana was a success. The opposing counsel representing the insurance company in the matter did not offer any comment on the judge's ruling. However, the plaintiff's attorney said that they were pleased with the results of the suit.

Questions about whether workers may receive workers' compensation to pay for their medical marijuana treatments will likely increase in importance as time goes by. As of right now, New Jersey's medical marijuana program only benefits a select number of patients who qualify to take the drug. If you have questions about medical marijuana and workers' compensation claim, you may want to bring them up with a New Jersey workers' compensation attorney.

Source: nj.com, "N.J. man's medical marijuana should be paid by workers' comp, judge says," accessed June 16, 2017

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