Marijuana and the Injured Worker

gavel-booksTwo points I want to make:  Don't go to work high. Don't use marijuana for pain unless your doctor prescribes it.

1.  Don't go to work high. You might think you can do your job high (and maybe you can). You might not feel that high and you may not have toked just before you went to work.  But one thing that you can be guaranteed: if there is an accident and your test positive for THC (or any other drugs or alcohol), you will be blamed. That means losing your job.  It means if your injured, you will be denied workers compensation benefits. And it'll be on you to prove that the accident was not caused by your intoxication in order to get your benefits back, which would be hard to do if you aren't making money and can't afford a toxicology expert to testify for you.

2. Don't use pot for pain (unless prescribed).  If you are being treated for pain and being prescribed pain meds, most doctors will require you to sign a Pain Contract.  The pain contract says you won't get prescriptions from another doctor and you won't use illegal substances.  The reason the doctors do urine analysis is to make sure you aren't violating the pain contract.  If you do, the doctor will refuse to treat you.  Not only you can't get prescription pain meds anymore, you'll be tagged with "drug seeking behavior" which is code for "addict and liar".  It's not a label you want.

Keenan Powell has practiced Workers Compensation law in the State of Alaska for over 30 years and has dedicated her practice to Workers Compensation representing injured Alaskans handling hundreds of cases. www.keenanpowell.com.

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