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Cannabis and Workers’ Compensation

Law Offices of James M. Curran

Medicinal marijuana, commonly called cannabis for medicinal use, is legal in New Jersey. In a recent case involving a gentleman who suffered multiple workplace injuries, his doctor prescribed medicinal cannabis to relieve his pain. The workers’ compensation insurer was ordered by a judge to cover the cost of the prescription.

The gentleman in question had suffered severe neck and back injuries that required the fusion of vertebrae. The employee had been taking opioids to relieve the pain but did not wish to continue them out of concern for the risk of addiction. His doctor provided the necessary documentation and a prescription to get his patient accepted into New Jersey’s medical cannabis program. The patient paid for the initial prescription himself though the court has ordered that he be reimbursed.

The patient reported significant improvement in his pain level after beginning the treatment with medicinal cannabis. He said he was able to sleep better than he had in years and that he felt more like himself. In addition to reducing his level of pain, the medicinal cannabis is also less costly than the opioids he was previously taking.

A person in New Jersey who has suffered a work injury resulting in ongoing pain may benefit from a consultation with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney. Physicians do have strict guidelines they must adhere to in order to prescribe medicinal cannabis. If a person has been given a prescription and has questions concerning his or rights under the law, an experienced attorney may be able to help.

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