As is the case with any proposed treatment the employee will have to prove that it is reasonably necessary to relieve or cure the effects of the work related injuries. Medical marijuana raises unique issues.
Because marijuana is a Schedule I substance, the CSA makes it a crime to knowingly or intentionally “manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense” marijuana, 21 U.S.C.S. § 841(a)(1), as well as to “knowingly or intentionally . . . possess a controlled substance,” id. § 844(a).5 Further, and important to the question presented here, a federal prosecution can be directed against a “principal,” which is defined as any individual who “commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission,” 18 U.S.C.S. § 2(a) (LEXIS through Pub. L. No. 115-181) (emphasis added).
Violations of the CSA, including aiding and abetting, can result in significant penalties including a minimum fine of $1,000 and may also include as much as one year of incarceration, with a greater sentences if certain aggravating factors are present, such as a prior conviction for any drug offense, including offenses established by the CSA.
The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine has already ruled that:
Other states have ruled to the contrary. New Mexico has ordered reimbursement of medical marijuana expenses, largely on the basis that current federal policy on prosecution of CSA violations related to medical marijuana makes it speculative as to whether one paying for medical marijuana would suffer injury in fact. As of June 29, 2018 in at least two New Jersey cases workers’ compensation judges have ordered payment for medical marijuana treatment.