Law Offices of Mark S. Nelson

Can Medical Marijuana affect your Personal Injury Case?

Medical Marijuana and Your Personal Injury Case

In November 2016, California voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) allowing individuals to use marijuana recreationally, to possess up to one ounce and to cultivate up to six plants in their homes. There are some limitations regarding smoking marijuana in public which will subject persons to a $100 fine and driving under the influence of marijuana is strictly prohibited.

It is also important to mention that under federal law, marijuana continues to be considered a Schedule 1 drug, which is the strictest level of prohibition. It is unclear whether state and federal officials will be able to coalesce.

Recently, many of my clients who are experiencing pain from a personal injury tell me that they are not interested in taking prescription medications for reasons that (quite understandably) range from adverse side effects, addiction, price, or their dislike of taking chemicals that only mask the pain.

If they are wondering about the use of medical marijuana, I advise them to take the following things into consideration:

1) The best and first thing that they should do is to talk to their treating physician about it. Would medical marijuana help them? If the answer is yes and the doctor recommends it, it will be tough for the insurance company to diminish the value of their claim by saying that they shouldn't have been using it.

2) Find out how much marijuana is safe and helpful. This is also something that they should talk to your physician about and the effect will likely vary from person to person. Many medical marijuana dispensaries have knowledgeable staff that can help guide them in the right direction.

3) If you are using medical marijuana for the purpose of dealing with the pain caused by the incident that I am representing you with, be sure to provide me with receipts and any correspondence related to the prescription.

4) Keep in mind that many people in California are conservative and are not convinced that marijuana helps people with pain. They may view marijuana users in a negative light and for that reason, a jury (made up of 12 people in your community) may not be too compassionate of the user or their injury if they think that they are just a "pot head." However, if it is necessary for the user, and a doctor backs up their position, they are more likely to overcome this prejudicial bias.

5) Make sure that they are buying from trustworthy and legal sources.

This is just a quick summary of an important and complex issue. I recommend that you call me or an experienced attorney at my office to speak directly about this topic. Our number one goal is always to offer the best legal advice to our clients, but we also understand that many of our clients are living with excruciating pain that limits their ability to enjoy life. We have a lot of experience surrounding this subject and would be honored to discuss it further. Call us at 209-529-0995 or contact us online.

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Law Offices of Mark S. Nelson

215 McHenry Ave.
Modesto, CA 95354

Phone: 209-353-1277
Fax: 209-529-6207
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