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Family Denied Worker's Compensation Because Worker Killed in Accident Legally Used Marijuana

We've heard of people being punished for using legal marijuana, but now apparently those problems also extend to a cannabis user's family as well.

A widow in Colorado is being denied half of the compensation she's owed after an accident that killed her husband. And the reason they're denying half the compensation is because her husband had legally used marijuana.

Adam Lee was an electrician in Colorado who was repairing a ski elevator in December 2016 when the machine began malfunctioning and he was killed. But now the state says they will only give Lee's family half of the compensation they are owed since a toxicology report done after his death determined he had high amounts of THC in his system at the time of the accident.

Of course, there are several issues with this. First of all, marijuana was legal at the time of Lee's death, meaning the state is punishing him for taking part in a legal activity. But second of all, there's no way to tell when Lee used marijuana prior to the accident. THC can remain in a person's body for days or even weeks after marijuana use. So there's no way the state of Colorado can say whether Lee had used marijuana shortly before the accident.

Unfortunately, this is perfectly legal under Colorado law, which says employers are allowed to reduce workers' compensation by 50 percent if a marijuana test is positive. 

“I am frustrated with the system that is saying because he smoked a legal substance, we are going to take away your benefits from you and your kids,” Adam Lee's widow, Erika Lee, said.

Erika Lee says she will appeal the state's decision.

Considering how unscientific marijuana tests are, this seems like a pretty bad policy to maintain in the first state to legalize recreational cannabis.

(h/t Denver 7)


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