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Insurer says it shouldn't have to pay for medical marijuana

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine supreme court is wading into the issue of medical marijuana and workers' compensation.

The court heard arguments Wednesday over whether a paper mill must pay for medical marijuana for a worker who was hurt on the job. It's the first time the court has considered the question of insurance reimbursement for medical marijuana.

Gaetan Bourgoin of Madawaska already won a ruling from the Workers' Compensation Board.

But Twin Rivers argues that paying for medical marijuana puts the company in violation of federal law. The company also contends that Maine's medical marijuana act does not require a "private health insurer" to cover the cost of medical marijuana.

Bourgoin contends marijuana is cheaper and safer than narcotics. His workers' comp case dates to 1989 when he hurt his back.

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