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Medical marijuana in workplace: a moving target

Are you prepared should the legislative and executive branches agree to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Are you prepared should the legislative and executive branches agree to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania?

We can learn from the lessons acquired in other states.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia protect marijuana or cannabis users from criminal prosecution when these substances are taken for medical purposes. Another 11 states allow for medical marijuana in limited situations, and another nine have legislation pending.

As a human resource professional and an adviser to business and industry, your business may be subject to far-reaching consequences should marijuana be legalized for medical purposes.

What would you do in this situation?

An employee injures his back on the job. Under Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1182, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, your employee’s attending physician recommends cannabis therapy for the worker.

Is the employer obligated to pay for medical marijuana through workers’ compensation?

Consider a recent appeals case ruling in New Mexico, Vialpando v. Ben’s Auto, where the appellate court found Ben’s Auto (the employer) responsible for paying for medical marijuana through workers’ compensation.

What would you do?

You own a computer-assisted manufacturing machine shop and an employee informs you that her doctor has recommended medical marijuana to treat cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder or severe and persistent muscle spasms (to name a few).

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