The Maine Workers’ Compensation Board has ruled that two Maine employers must pay for medical marijuana, becoming the third state to make such a determination. In both cases, workers had severe injuries and medical marijuana was recommended as an alternative to painkillers. One worker had difficulties with the side effects of opioids, and the other became dependent on them during treatment in the 1990s. The employers argued against reimbursement because marijuana is still illegal under federal law. However, the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board noted that the U.S. Justice Department had indicated that interfering with state medical marijuana laws isn’t one of its enforcement priorities. A Justice Department memorandum even stated noninterference with states’ rights regarding medical marijuana.
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