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Court: Medical Marijuana Can Be Reasonable, Necessary Treatment


Like other areas of the law, workers’ compensation is constantly changing. Most of the time the changes are nuanced interpretations of the law that may have little to no impact on your individual case. But sometimes the changes are more significant. It’s a good idea to keep up-to-date on these changes, especially if you’re considering seeking workers’ compensation benefits or are fighting to keep them. This week, let’s briefly look at one recent ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court pertaining to workers’ compensation and medical marijuana.

Work Injuries, Workers’ Compensation, and Medical Marijuana

The ways that workplace injuries are treated are constantly changing. That’s why one man who suffered a work-related back injury in 2001 was prescribed medical marijuana in 2016 as a way to ease his pain and address an opioid dependency that he has subsequently developed. The man claimed that workers’ compensation should reimburse him for the costs associated with obtaining his medical marijuana, which landed the case before the State’s supreme court.

In the case, the man’s employer vehemently fought to avoid paying for the medical marijuana, which ran as much as $600 per month. One of the biggest holdings by the Supreme Court, though, was that the employer failed to show that the use of medical marijuana isn’t reasonable or necessary treatment as is required under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws. In fact, the court held that with proper testimony, the use of medical marijuana can be deemed reasonable and necessary.

Don’t cut your workers’ compensation claim short

This case highlights how expansive workers’ compensation benefits can be. Therefore, you shouldn’t neglect seeking workers’ compensation reimbursement for your medical treatment simply because you feel like it won’t be reimbursed. Instead, discuss the matter with your legal professional to determine your best course of action moving forward, which may include crafting compelling arguments to push the court even further on requiring workers’ compensation providers to cover your treatment costs.