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How Marijuana Use Impacts Workers’ Compensation Cases from Your Denver Attorney


September 26, 2018

Marijuana has been legal for recreational use in the state of Colorado for almost the past years, changing the local economy dramatically and providing a new revenue source for the state government. While this change has been dramatic in many ways, it’s important to note how certain things have remained unchanged. In terms of workers’ compensation laws, the changes in law have not changed very much. Your Denver workers’ compensation attorney has compiled some of the important facts regarding this matter that every worker should be aware of.

You Can Still Have Your Claim Denied Over the Presence of Marijuana


Although there has been a sea change in terms of how marijuana legalization has impacted Colorado, this paradigm shift hasn’t reached the area of workers’ compensation law. While it may be legal for personal use, an employer can still make the policy which forbids employees from partaking in legal weed. Employers are still within their right to drug test employees for Marijuana, and are also allowed to fire employees if they test positive.

In addition to being able to drug test for employment purposes, a company’s insurance carrier can also use a positive marijuana drug test as justification to deny or withhold a person’s workers’ compensation claim. Marijuana can remain in a person’s system for weeks after the use occurred, meaning it is important for a worker to consider the potential consequences for partaking in weed, despite the fact that the substance is now legal. Legalization does not mean a person is completely free to use the substance without suffering legal consequences. 

A recent case in Colorado was evidence of this policy, as the state of Colorado denied a woman half of her late husband’s workers’ compensation benefits due to the fact that he tested positive for marijuana. Colorado’s workers’ compensation statute states that an individual can potentially lose up to half of their benefits and wages in the event that they test positive for marijuana. Lost wages can be a crushing blow to a person’s ability to support themselves and their family, highlighting the fact that a person should be aware of the ramifications of legally using pot. This unfortunate legal reality may change at some point in the future, but until then it’s important to understand what is at stake. 

It is important to do everything you possibly can to avoid an accident, but sometimes things happen that are out of your control. In these cases, you will want someone to advocate for you every step of the legal process. It is important to seek out the services of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney that will fight for your rights every step of the way. 

Mark A. Simon is someone who will fight tirelessly for your rights and ensure that you receive the highest possible settlement. He will begin the investigation process immediately, ensuring you receive the best representation possible. If you are in the Denver metro area and require legal help or assistance, contact him at 303-321-4878 to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.