The New Jersey Supreme Court provided yet another example of society’s growing acceptance of marijuana when it ruled that an employer must pay for an injured worker’s medical Cannabis. The state’s high court upheld an earlier ruling by the Appellate Court in a decision that could have a significant impact on medical Cannabis cases.
Vincent Hager was seriously injured when cement fell on him while he was working for a construction company in 2001. The accident caused Hager chronic pain in his back and legs that led to multiple surgeries. Hager began taking opioids for the pain and became addicted to pills, until a doctor recommended medical Cannabis in 2016.
Cannabis eased Hager’s pain and got him off of painkillers. So it only seemed right that his former employer pick up the tab for this highly effective medicine.
However the employer, M&K Construction, disagreed and appealed the workers’ compensation decision. The company opposed paying for a drug that is illegal at the federal level.
Fortunately, the court stepped in and explained that M&K would not be breaking the law, nor would it be in possession of Cannabis. Instead, the company would be reimbursing an injured worker for the cost of his medication, as compelled by a court.
In early 2020, when the case was before the Appellate Division, Hager’s medical marijuana costs were approximately $616 a month.