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The Latest News on Medical Marijuana Use and Possible Impacts on Workers’ Comp

Erwin, McCane & Daly | Tuesday, September 09, 2014

As State of New York’s elected officials recently legalized marijuana for medical use, the issue of Workers’ Comp has cropped up on a national level.

According to industry experts, the major concern about the use of medical marijuana is its potential effect on the workplace, including safety issues and overall productivity.

If marijuana earns a stamp of approval for medicinal use, does this mean insurance companies will cover the cost? And, would this make insurance carriers liable for people who are using marijuana when they are hurt on the job?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that marijuana use can contribute to “increased absences, tardiness, accidents and job turnover.” If injuries occur on the job, this, in turn, could bring on more Workers’ Comp cases.

But the legalization of medical marijuana is based on findings that its use significantly reduces pain and other symptoms caused by myriad health issues. The argument can be made that marijuana, like other meds, should and must be covered by insurance companies.

This conundrum has yet to be addressed, but ultimately will need to be ironed out due to its major impact across the board on working people and their benefits if injured on the job.

At Erwin, McCane & Daly, we stay apprised of the latest news affecting Workers’ Compensation and your rights. Contact us today at (518) 449-2245 to learn more about our expertise and how we can put it to work for you.