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Medical pot OK'd in New Jersey workers' compensation case

A landmark court ruling has determined that a New Jersey man's prescription for medical marijuana must fall under his employer's workplace injury policy. The man, who is enrolled in the state's medical marijuana program, will have his prescription pot covered by workers' compensation. This is the first decision of its kind to be handed down in the state of New Jersey. State law does not mandate that insurance cover the cost of medical marijuana, which can cost more than $500 an ounce.

The victim in this case suffered a hand injury in 2014 while working at a lumber store in Pleasantville, New Jersey. He had initially started using medical pot that same year, but he stopped purchasing the treatment when his employer refused to pony up the cash to pay. Now, it appears that he will be able to return to the treatment for his workplace injury accident.

Attorneys in the case say that the man has been able to wean himself off of some narcotic medications, instead using the medical marijuana to improve the pain in his hand. The courts ruled in the man's favor because medical pot is legal in the state, and so patients should be able to receive the treatment without foregoing their workers' compensation benefits. This ruling could have a significant impact on other victims of a workplace injury accident. Medical marijuana has been highly controversial over the decades, but medical evidence suggests that it can be a useful substitute for more dangerous narcotic drugs.

The fact that you were injured on the job may not eliminate you from using medical marijuana in New Jersey -- a qualified attorney can help you learn more about your newly clarified legal rights.

Source: NJ.com, "N.J. man's medical marijuana should be paid by workers' comp, judge says," Susan K. Livio, Jan. 14, 2017

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