A Toke in Time
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 8, 2010
After a week of death and deceit we thought you might appreciate another good one from Workers’ Comp Insider. It is for your entertainment only. We will probably be accused of recommending self medication for PTSD in addition to teaching you how to get it (PTSD).
Six years ago Robin Hove was working as a security guard. The Saskatchewan resident became entangled with a shoplifter. In the course of the struggle, an open cut in the shoplifter’s mouth bled onto Hove: “The blood came pouring out of his mouth, into my eyes and into my mouth and I was just drowning in it.” Ugh.
Hove, suffering from post-traumatic stress, has not worked since the incident. For five years, his doctor prescribed conventional anxiety medications. None worked. Then his doctor prescribed medical marijuana. Bingo. Hove began to enjoy life again. While still incapable of working, he was able to get out of the house and function somewhat normally. A few tokes and he was as good as new.
Unfortunately for Hove, the Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board does not recognize medical marijuana as a legitimate medication; marijuana is not listed in the catalogue of approved pharmaceuticals. Hove has to pay for the pot himself. It’s running a whopping $600 per month (and they used to refer to “nickel bags”!).
Hove is appealing the board’s denial of his request that his marijuana expenses be reimbursed. My advice to Hove: don’t hold your breath. The board is unlikely to budge.
Hove found himself in the news recently. He was enjoying a coffee at a local restaurant when a robber armed with a machete tried to rob a nearby gas station. Hove reacted instinctively and heroically, helping to subdue the man. He received a commendation from the mayor for his selfless actions.
Hove’s heroism does raise a couple of questions: what is the relationship between his post-traumatic stress and his ability to intervene in a dangerous situation? Was he “stoned” (sorry about that) or unmedicated when he took action? And finally, if he is capable of heroic acts, why can’t he go back to work?
If Hove’s ability to act is directly related to his consumption of pot, he is probably not employable. No employer would or could tolerate an employee constantly functioning under the influence of marijuana. Thus in all likelihood, Hove will continue his spacy path as an individual with a disability. He will find comfort in his drug of choice, but it will take a third of his limited disability income to pay for the medication. There’s a lot of anxiety in the situation, but relief is just a toke away.