Two workers in the US state of Minnesota have been seeking reimbursement from their respective employers for the costs of medical cannabis which was prescribed to them after sustaining injuries at work.
Minnesota’s Supreme Court ruled that employers are not required to reimburse injured workers for medical cannabis as it would result in the organisation breaking federal law. This is the fourth case of its kind in the United States.
Last month, the US Supreme Court asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to weigh in on the case but the DOJ responded by urging it to steer clear due to the novelty of the issues, while showing support for Minnesota’s verdict.
In an amicus brief filed last month, the DOJ stated: “The judgments […] are correct for the straightforward reason that when a federal law such as the [Controlled Substances Act] prohibits possession of a particular item, it preempts a state law requiring a private party to subsidise the purchase of that item.”
The DOJ also argued that the workers’ compensation order is preempted by federal law because it “stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purpose and objectives of Congress”.