PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine supreme court says employers don’t have to pay for medical marijuana under the state workers’ compensation system.
In a 5-2 decision, the court ruled Thursday that federal law takes precedence in a conflict between the federal Controlled Substances Act and the state medical marijuana law. Writing for the majority was Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm.
The case focused on whether a paper mill must pay for medical marijuana for a worker who was hurt on the job.
Gaetan Bourgoin, of Madawaska, won a ruling from the Workers’ Compensation Board, and contends marijuana is cheaper and safer than narcotics. His case dates to 1989, when he hurt his back.
But Twin Rivers argued that a “private health insurer” shouldn’t be required to cover the cost of medical marijuana and that doing so put it in violation of federal law.
Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.