Trenton, NJ: The New Jersey Supreme Court justices unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that an employee is entitled to costs related to the medicinal use of cannabis, reimbursed by their employer. In the case, an amicus letter was filed on behalf of NORML by Alan Silber and Dillon McGuire of the PashmanStein law firm.
The judges dismissed claims that cannabis was non-refundable under state workers’ compensation laws because it was illegal at the federal level. The Court ruled that Congress’s decision to prohibit the Justice Department from interfering with medical cannabis access laws in states allows state and federal marijuana laws to “coexist” without “positive conflict”.
The court also found that the plaintiff’s use of medicinal cannabis was “appropriate and necessary” and denied the employer’s claim that providing a financial reimbursement would result in potential criminal liability.
“We agree with the Compensation Court and Appeals Division that the exemption of workers ‘compensation insurers from responsibility for workers’ medical marijuana costs is contrary to the express findings of lawmakers in the Compassionate Use Act and the traditional broad, liberal application of workers in the New Jersey stands. Compensation system, ”said the court.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court passed a similar ruling last year, as did lower courts in several other states, including Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, and New Mexico. In contrast, courts in Delaware and Massachusetts have ruled contrary.