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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Medical pot covered by workers' comp, says appeals court

If undefined by statute, workers' compensation provides for an almost limitless delivery of medical benefits. What ever "cures and/or relieves" is authorized and is paid for by the employer/insurance carrier. Today's post is shared from
The New Mexico Court of Appeals recently ruled that an employer must pay for an injured worker's medical marijuana. This appears to be the nation's first appellate court ruling in a workers' compensation case in which an employer has been ordered to pay for medical marijuana prescribed by an employee's healthcare provider to treat a workplace injury.
George Vialpando injured his back in a workplace accident in 2000 while he was employed by Ben's Automotive Services in Santa Fe. For years, he was unable to find pain relief through conventional drugs and treatment. His physician said Vialpando had "some of the most extremely high intensity, frequency and duration of pain, out of all of the thousands of patients I've treated within my seven years practicing medicine."
In 2013, Vialpando was certified by his healthcare providers to participate in the New Mexico medical marijuana program. The program, authorized by the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act, permits an individual to purchase marijuana after receiving certification from a medical practitioner licensed in New Mexico that states he has a debilitating medical condition and the potential health benefits of the medical use of cannabis would likely outweigh the health...
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