State departments of health couldn’t fix health insurance for patients who rely on Cannabis medicine. Legislators didn’t pass laws. Jeff Sessions.
Local judiciaries may start filling gaps in coverage with court rulings. Have any similar cases been brought before courts in Hawaii?
Meanwhile in New Jersey…
Dr. John Gordon at urhealthguide.com wrote about a case last year before Judge Ingrid L. French, a state administrative law judge from New Jersey, stating she has ruled that an Egg Harbor man’s insurance company must cover the costs of medical marijuana. This could theoretically establish a very much-needed precedent for patients.
Back in April Jay Lassiter at Leafly wrote in part, The case in question was a workers compensation matter. Andrew Watson, a 39-year-old worker at the 84 Lumber outlet in Manahawkin, injured his left hand while using a power saw at the building supply warehouse in 2008. Watson suffered lingering neuropathic pain in the hand long after the incident. After years of opioid use for the pain, Watson enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program in 2014. The cannabis allowed him to cut down his opioid use and treat the pain more safely.
Watson submitted invoices and receipts for the medical cannabis to his employer’s insurance provider for reimbursement. Those requests were denied. Watson took the dispute to court.
And he won.
“While the court is sensitive to the controversy surrounding the medicinal use of marijuana,” Judge Ingrid L. French concluded in her ruling, “whether or not it should be prescribed for a patient in a state where it is legal to prescribe it, is a medical decision that is within the boundaries of the laws in the State of New Jersey. In this case, there is no dispute that all of the credible evidence presented confirms that this Petitioner is an appropriate candidate for New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.”
Anna Hunt at the Florida Cannabis Coalition wrote in part, Opioids, such as methadone, oxycodone (such as OxyContin®) and hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®), have been responsible for over 183,000 deaths during the last 15 years. Their misuse, abuse, and addiction are rampant in the United States. In 2014, almost 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on prescription opioids. On any given day, 1000 people on average are treated in emergency situations for the misuse of these drugs.
Could stockholders and boards at insurance companies learn whole plant economics? Of course, someone just needs to show them a slide deck, right? Could one of Hawaii’s legislators show them how whole planet medicines have higher margins than pharmaceutical petroleum-based, synthetic medications? Volunteer to follow and contribute to this issue.
Bill Collins Hawaii Cannabis Open Expo Organizer and Owner of Akamai Cycles in Hilo.