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New Jersey judge says work comp insurance can cover cannabis

Law Offices of James M. Curran

The state of New Jersey does allow the legal use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, it is a treatment that work comp insurance has refused to cover, until recently. In Dec. 2016, a judge ruled in favor a man who wished to use cannabis following a work injury.

According to a recent report, the plaintiff requested to use cannabis to control his pain from a work-related injury. Cannabis, while an effective treatment, is also an expensive one in the state of New Jersey. Without insurance, this individual was not able to afford his pain management method of choice for very long.

This individual was able to prove in court that by using cannabis he was able to cut down on the number of Percocet he was taking and was better able to manage his pain. The judge agreed that the benefits of cannabis in this particular case outweighed any negatives and ordered his workers’ compensation insurance to cover the treatment. For other injured workers who could benefit from cannabis use, this is a big win.

Many states have legalized marijuana use for medical reasons. While this may be the case, it is still a hot debate topic, specifically regarding when it should be a prescribed treatment. Physicians have to follow close guidelines before ordering cannabis for pain management; it is not something that is recommended for everyone. Those in New Jersey who have suffered work injuries and whose physicians have prescribed cannabis, thanks to this ruling, may have the treatment covered by work comp insurance. Legal actions can be taken with the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney if insurance refuses to cover this approved treatment option.

Source: occnewspaper.com, “Judge Rules for Cannabis in Workers Comp Insurance Case“, Cheryl Smith, Jan. 9, 2017

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