An indemnity insurer is required to reimburse a disabled police officer for the cost of his medical marijuana, the New York Court of Appeals held on Thursday.
In Matter of Quigley v. Village of East Aurora The Supreme Court of New York, the Appellate Chamber, the Third Chamber unanimously upheld a decision of the Compensation Judge granting a former official a request to use medical marijuana to treat his chronic pain.
Daniel Quigley served as a police officer for the village of East Aurora. and had two established claims for compensation for workers – one involving a concussion with injuries to his right wrist, elbow and shoulder from slipping on black ice at work in 2004 ̵
After years of treatment, a judge found for compensation to workers that Quigley was permanently disabled from 2009. In 2016, after years of pain treatment with opioids, a pain relief specialist Mr. Quigley for using medical marijuana to treat his chronic pain. The village and its compensation insurer denied the request, but a judge for workers by law overruled the insurer and ordered it to pay for the treatment. The village and the insurer appealed, claiming that marijuana is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act and that federal law prevents the state's Compassionate Care Act, which approved the use of medical marijuana in 2014.
reimbursing the police for medical marijuana does not "undermine" the principles of the law on controlled substances. Although the court noted that there is no dispute that marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under federal law, the court held that the exemptions from the law allow controlled substances “to be obtained directly or under a valid prescription or a valid decision from a
The court also found that the Compassionate Care Act provided for "no exemption for workers 'compensation companies" and that the legislature "did not intend to exempt workers' compensation companies from the obligation. to reimburse injured applicants for their medical marijuana costs.