Daniel Wright’s Case
Daniel Wright’s Case (Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, October 27, 2020): Massachusetts’ highest court held that insurance companies and government agencies cannot be compelled to reimburse injured persons for their medical marijuana expenses. Mr. Wright injured his knee in the course of his employment and was certified to use medical cannabis to treat his chronic leg pain. He submitted the cost of his medical cannabis for workers compensation, claiming it was covered as a necessary and reasonable medical expense. The court rejected this claim based on the language of the state’s medical cannabis statute. It specifically states that health insurance providers and government do not have to reimburse expenses of medical cannabis use. This specific provision prevails over Massachusetts’ general workers compensation law. As well, since cannabis use is still illegal under federal law, an insurance company cannot be forced to reimburse for medical cannabis, which could subject it to federal prosecution. Read the full decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – December 1, 2020.
View all cases under “Mitigating The Incidence & Severity of Injuries & Other Harms.”