Many individuals in California utilize medicinal marijuana for pain management. It is not the recommended treatment in all cases, but for some it works better than other drug options. While cannabis use may be legal in the state, it is not something that is generally covered to treat workplace injuries. Is this something that will change, though?
Recently, in another state, a judge ruled in favor of a man who wanted to use cannabis following a work accident that left him in a great deal of pain. After the incident, his physician prescribed cannabis, but due to the high cost and lack of workers' compensation insurance coverage, he was unable to use this treatment method for long. He then had to depend on Percocet, a powerful pain medication, that, sadly, had debilitating effects.
This individual was able to provide the court with pharmacy records showing that, when using cannabis, his Percocet use decreased. He also claimed to have felt better using the medicinal marijuana than he did using the prescribed narcotics. The judge agreed with the plaintiff that cannabis was a better treatment option for him and ordered his work comp insurance company to cover the cost of the drug.
Will workers' compensation insurance in California be forced to follow suit? It is tough to say. Not many people who utilize cannabis do so to treat workplace injuries. Those who have suffered work-related injuries and who qualify for medicinal marijuana for pain management can fight to have the drug and other necessary treatments covered. An experienced work comp attorney will be able to help with this.
Source: occnewspaper.com, "Judge Rules for Cannabis in Workers Comp Insurance Case", Cheryl Smith, Jan. 9, 2017