Attorneys & Professionals
In 2009, Maine enacted the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MMUMA), permitting qualifying patients to use medical marijuana. By contrast, marijuana use and possession remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In a case of first impression, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court recently analyzed whether an employer can be required to pay for its injured worker’s acquisition and use of marijuana—conduct that is proscribed by federal law but allowed by the state under the MMUMA. In Gaetan v. Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers Paper Company, the Court concluded that, “where an employer is subject to an order that would require it to subsidize an employee’s acquisition of medical marijuana— there is a positive conflict between federal and state law, and as a result, the CSA preempts the MMUMA as applied here.” Therefore, the employer is not required to reimburse an employee for the costs of medical marijuana.
Bourgoin worked for Twin Rivers when he sustained a work-related back injury and was placed on total disability. As a result of his injury, Bourgoin suffers from severe