It can be difficult for an entire legal system to catch up to just one legal change. An example of that point is marijuana and workers’ compensation laws in Colorado. Adults can smoke marijuana legally, even for simple recreational purposes, but that doesn’t mean that all the laws are on their side if they have the drug in their system.
What if a worker is injured in Colorado and it’s discovered that he or she has marijuana in their system? How might an employer react, and could the presence of the substance in an injured worker’s system impact their rights to compensation benefits?
This is a workers’ compensation matter that states are needing to iron out. Colorado might be in the minority of states that allow recreational marijuana use, but many other states allow medical marijuana and, therefore, need to clarify how those rights might affect other rights.
If a construction worker falls on-the-job and has THC in his system, can he still get workers’ compensation benefits? In Colorado cases, if a work injury took place while the worker was under the influence of marijuana, the amount of compensation that accident victim could get might decrease by 50 percent.
Workers’ compensation laws were complicated even before marijuana laws changed in Colorado. Now, more than ever, it is absolutely crucial that an injured worker relies on the help of an experienced work accident lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the state’s laws, including how changing drug laws impact employees’ rights.
Source: LifeHealthPro, “Medical marijuana leaves workers’ comp in cloud of confusion,” Stephanie Overman, Feb. 4, 2014