Rocky Mountain High – In New Mexico
A New Mexico Court of Appeals has recently ruled that an injured employee’s Workers Compensation carrier must pay for his marijuana prescription. The ruling even noted the federal laws for medical marijuana would prohibit the use.
According to the Santa-Fe New Mexican, The New Mexico court on Monday upheld a decision by a workers’ compensation judge that medical marijuana was “reasonable and necessary medical care” from a health care provider under terms of workers’ compensation law.
One thing that I noted from most of the buzz (no pun intended) was how well this was covered in all the Workers Comp press. The Santa-Fe New Mexican also noted that the worker had a 99% disability – how does one get a 99% but not 100% – interesting.
The dangerous barrier that this could have broken in being stoned while on the job. Over the years, I have paid and watch insurance companies lose in the courts over whether or not the alcohol or marijuana was “the proximate cause of the accident.”
Did the New Mexico Court of Appeals just allow an avenue for marijuana to be used on the job by anyone that has a medical marijuana card? The conundrum will not be the worker using it while on the job. However, will a positive marijuana test hold any water to deny a claim if the person happen to have a marijuana card? They are not that hard to obtain. Try weedmaps.com to find the nearest Dr. that will write you a RX for pot.
Many years ago, I denied a claim due to a worker falling through an open skylight and falling in a bathtub. The spinal injury was minor, however, the area was taped off with that “DO NOT CROSS” yellow tape that he had to break to make it to the skylight.
These are two articles that I previously wrote about marijuana. Check here and here. There is going to be a rush of articles in the news on this ruling and every time there is a decision on medical marijuana.
I will try to keep the blog updated on these New Mexico and other rulings.
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