Many states are struggling with whether injured workers should be reimbursed for marijuana usage. In addition, there are issues with how a positive marijuana test can impact compensability of an injury. There are states that preclude reimbursement or coverage for marijuana in workers' compensation cases and others that require reimbursement. There are also states that have legislation pending for whether marijuana should be a covered drug or not. In addition, there are four states that hold that a positive marijuana test makes an injury non-compensable. Other states make exceptions for medical marijuana.
While marijuana is currently legal in California, it is not currently covered by workers' compensation as it is still illegal on a Federal level. In addition, there is no specific law finding that a positive marijuana test will automatically allow a claim to be denied. Instead, the question will continue to revolve around whether the injured worker was intoxicated. At this point, however, there does not appear to be a clear line as to when a person is considered intoxicated due to marijuana usage.
State courts continue to struggle with whether employers and insurers must reimburse for marijuana in workers compensation and how a positive marijuana test may impact the compensability of an accident, according to a legislative update released Friday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.