Medicinal Marijuana is an ever-evolving hot topic not only in the Media but also in the workplace. More specifically, as it relates to treatment of workplace injuries. Medicinal Marijuana has been widely discussed as an alternative for treatment of chronic pain as opposed to Opioids. However, many employers are concerned regarding Marijuana use and consumption and how it relates to safety and the possibility of increased injuries due to impairment. However, the other side of the coin (Opioids) can arguably cause the same concerns as well. While many more controlled studies need to be conducted, when considering the long-term implications, Medicinal Marijuana may become a more sustainable treatment for long-term recovery of workplace injuries and pain management.
One concern within the rise in medical marijuana among employers is patient use in the workplace. Specifically, some may ponder if employees are eligible for worker’s comp if they are injured while using marijuana in the workplace. Also, many are skeptical about how the condition of the worker can even be tested in places where it is decriminalized. As more cases appear and legal boundaries are identified, it will be easier to work through and understand these issues as Court Opinions continue to be released.
While some companies continue to have a zero-tolerance drug-policy due to Marijuana still being listed as a Schedule I controlled substance federally, many companies are relaxing their policies to not only support those who use it medicinally but to also for those who use it recreationally where it is legal. Opioids are currently listed as Schedule II controlled substances. As medicinal use of Marijuana continues to grow, many lawmakers are fighting for Marijuana to be lowered on the Controlled Substances Schedule federally. The Kingstree Group is diligent in remaining up to date on the latest laws and regulations and can assist your employees in understanding your policies as they evolve.
Overall, medical marijuana and worker’s compensation are necessary to be examined on a situational basis. Also, as more injured workers use it, it’s effectiveness as a treatment option will further be revealed. Do you think that it could be a more effective long-term treatment tool than traditional methods? Are there long-term concerns about workers using marijuana for recovery?