President Joe Biden’s administration told the U.S. Supreme Court that it should not agree to review a couple of decisions in which the Minnesota Supreme Court said employers could not be forced to compensate injured workers for medical cannabis because it would force them to violate federal law. .
“The petitions in these cases, which present a new issue in a rapidly growing area of law, do not justify this court’s review,” the Justice Department said in a brief filed Monday. “The assessments below are correct for the simple reason that when a federal law such as the Controlled Substances Act prohibits possession of a particular good, it prejudges a state law that requires a private party to subsidize the purchase of that item.”;
If states are allowed to order insurers and employers to pay for cannabis, there would be no legal reason why they could not also order insurers and employers to pay for LSD or other drugs, the department added. And there are only four state supreme courts that have raised the issue of work compensation for cannabis, with two upholding reimbursement decisions and two rejecting them.
In February, the nation’s highest court asked the Biden administration to submit a brief description of the government’s opinion on Susan K. Musta v. Mendota Heights Dental Center et. al. and Daniel Bierbach vs. Digger’s Polaris. Both cases said employers did not have to pay for medical marijuana for injured workers.
The employers and insurers in both cases claim that the state court decisions were correct and that the federal government’s response to amended state laws on cannabis is an ongoing work.
The Ministry of Justice seems to agree with the employers and insurers. The department said in its letter that a state law order requiring a third party to directly subsidize possession of cannabis, even for medical reasons, would undermine the law on controlled substances, and such a contradiction can not stand.
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