Friday, October 21, 2016

Medicinal Marijuana and Workers' Compensation

by Joseph D. Birdsall, Esq.

Marijuana use in the United States is becoming more accepted each day from both a cultural and legal standpoint. Attitudes towards recreational and medicinal use are softening; state laws decriminalizing medical and/or recreational marijuana use are spreading. Yet, the federal government’s position is that both medical and recreational marijuana use are illegal under the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) of 1970.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Green Earth Wellness Holding Supports Enforceability of State-Legal Cannabis Contracts in Federal Courts

by Adam Foster, Esq.

Operators in any industry need the certainty of knowing that their contracts will be enforceable in court. But cannabis entrepreneurs who obey state law face uncertainty regarding whether a defaulting party will claim that a cannabis-related contract is unenforceable on grounds of public policy. Chief Judge Krieger's holding in Green Earth Wellness Center, LLC v. Atain Specialty Ins. Co. 13-CV-03452 2016 WL 632357 (D. Colo. Feb. 17, 2016) provides persuasive authority for the proposition that federal courts should enforce cannabis contracts that are legal under state law.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Now What? Drug Testing in the Wake of Medical Marijuana

by Elizabeth Crosby, Esq.

Earlier this month, Ohio legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, fueling concerns over the extent to which Ohio employees are now legally permitted to report to work under the influence of marijuana. Ohio is now one of 25 states that permit the use of marijuana for pain management and treatment of various medical conditions. The law does not permit recreational use of marijuana and the law, as written, places significant restraints on how marijuana can be ingested for medical benefits.

Many of the details concerning how medical marijuana will be grown, packaged and distributed legally have yet to be determined. However, doctors can begin prescribing medical marijuana in September, at which time it will be legal for those patients to access medical marijuana in the states where it is currently legally available.

The law imposes certain important restrictions on how medical marijuana can be ingested and by whom. It remains illegal to smoke marijuana—even with a prescription.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Intersection of Medical Marijuana and Workers' Compensation in Illinois

by Carolina Schottland, Esq.

With the relatively recent passing of the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act ("MCPP") in Illinois, employees, employers and even attorneys are asking questions about how this affects workers' compensation practice in the state. In truth, MCPP's practical effect on workers compensation is pretty limited.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Is Medical Marijuana Reasonable and Necessary for Injured Worker?

by Christopher T. Elmore, Esq.

Miguel Maez v. Riley Industrial and Chartis

The primary issue in this case is whether medical marijuana is reasonable and necessary when the injured worker was taking marijuana prior to referral to the Medical Cannabis Program.

Worker suffered two injuries to his lumbar spine and was receiving treatment from Dr. Anthony Reeve. Worker began seeing Dr. Reeve on June 13, 2011, and was diagnosed with chronic back pain and placed on a variety of medications including Soma, Lortab, Percocet, and hydrocodone.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Gregory Vialpando v. Ben's Automotive Services [Medical Marijuana and Workers' Compensation]

by Christopher T. Elmore, Esq.

We all knew (and likely dreaded) this would eventually be here, and that time has finally arrived: medical marijuana and the Workers' Compensation Act.

The issue in Vialpando was whether or not the employer/insurer was required to reimburse the previously-injured worker for his medical marijuana pursuant to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. For those unfamiliar with this act, under NMSA Section 26-2B-1, the purpose of the act is to "allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments."

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Monday, January 13, 2014

The Top 6 Employment Law Challenges for 2014

by Alan M. Kaplan, Esq.

Are companies ready for 2014? Last year, we saw several significant changes and reminders to lessen the risks of suit. Here is our list of the top six challenges human resource professionals should address.

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