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New Mexico: Medical Marijuana Constituted Reasonable and Necessary Medical Care

July 02, 2015 (1 min read)







In its third decision on the issue of requiring an employer and/or insurer to reimburse the injured worker for the cost of medical marijuana provided to an injured worker under New Mexico’s “Compassionate Use Act,” a state appellate court again found the order requiring reimbursement proper. The employer argued that the conflict between New Mexico and federal law concerning the use of medical marijuana precluded the validity of the amended compensation order in the case. The court disagreed. Citing the two earlier decisions, Vialpando v. Ben's Automotive Services, 331 P.3d 975 (N.M. Ct. App. 2014), cert. denied, 331 P.3d 924 (N.M. 2014), and Maez v. Riley Industrial, 347 P.3d 732 (N.M. Ct. App. 2015), the court held that the Workers’ Compensation Act authorized reimbursement for medical marijuana and the court was not inclined to say that federal law required a different result. Moreover, the medical certification forms and notes of the worker’s authorized health care provider were substantial evidence to support the WCJ’s conclusion that the worker’s use of medical marijuana constituted reasonable and necessary medical care.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Lewis v. American General Media, 2015 N.M. App. LEXIS 74 (June 26, 2015) [2015 N.M. App. LEXIS 74 (June 26, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.03 [94.03]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.









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