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Precedent Set as Court Orders Gov’t to Pay for Medical Pot Instead of Opioids for Worker’s Comp – Free Thought Project
Freehold Township, NJ – In a major victory for medicinal cannabis rights, a New Jersey workers’ compensation judge has ordered a Freehold Township to pay for an injured worker’s medical marijuana, despite an insurance carrier’s objections stemming from the drug’s status Schedule 1 status as a controlled substance under federal law. People will no longer be forced to rely solely on opioids for the treatment of pain.
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Judge Lionel Simon invoked the necessity of not forcing injured workers onto opiates that are “killing people” as he ordered Freehold Township to pay for a municipal employee’s medical marijuana.
“Quite frankly, this Court is very aware of the . . . the explosion of these narcotics on the streets in the United States in the last decade, the tremendous amounts of death and addiction that are associated with these opioids. If there’s anything criminal here, it’s how these drugs have been force fed to injured people creating addicts.”
The New Jersey Law Journal reported that an attorney for carrier “PMA Group argued that New Jersey’s medical marijuana law is pre-empted by federal law designating it as illegal, and also cited a recent ruling from the Maine Supreme Court holding that an insurance carrier can’t be ordered to pay for marijuana when it is prohibited under federal law.”
Judge Simon said that while both state and federal drug laws were intended to stop the use and distribution of illicit drugs and drug-related crime, he couldn’t understand how covering McNeary’s medical marijuana could make the insurance company complicit in distributing illegal narcotics.
Read the rest of this article at: Precedent Set as Court Orders Gov’t to Pay for Medical Pot Instead of Opioids for Worker’s Comp
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