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Marijuana complicates workers' compensation case

Marijuana use, as many residents of New Jersey are already aware, is a contested topic in many states. Some states have approved marijuana for recreational use, and others have only approved it for medical purposes. There are even some states that still have yet to approve the use of marijuana for any reason. Unfortunately, one widow is currently battling with insurance companies over her late husband's workers' compensation payments because of this substance.

The man died last December while working as a lift mechanic at a ski resort in Colorado. He was caught underneath a conveyor belt, resulting in serious chest injuries that later caused his death. Several months later, the man's widow received notice that she would receive $800 per month in workers' compensation payments, which is roughly half of what she had expected to receive. 

It was then that the widow was told that an autopsy had revealed the presence of marijuana in her late husband's system. Although the recreational use of marijuana is legal in Colorado, many workplaces indicate that if an accident occurs and the use of alcohol or a controlled substance is determined to be the cause then workers' compensation payments may be reduced by half. However, as the man's widow and her attorney have argued, marijuana may remain in a person's system for anywhere from 45 to 90 days at a time. 

There are many reasons why workers' compensation claims may be denied or reduced. These cases can be very confusing for someone who is not familiar with the process, and a single missed detail or a mistake can have a serious impact on a person's case. New Jersey residents who have questions about a potential workers' compensation claim or an existing claim could benefit from speaking with an attorney. 

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