Requests for medical marijuana have skyrocketed. Some reports estimate an increase anywhere between 50% and 300% since President Obama took office and indicated that he wouldn’t override state laws with federal ones as the Bush administration did.
In November, the American Medical Association changed it’s tune with regard to the potential medical benefits of marijuana. The AMA “urges that marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance be reviewed with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines.” The statement indicates that the AMA is not endorsing legalization of marijuana but that further research is warranted.
The announcement comes exactly one year after the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act was voted into effect. According to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program (MMMP) website, more than 12,000 people have registered for the program since it’s inception – an average of 71 applications per day!
Perhaps marijuana does have medicinal benefits. But can such programs contribute to an increase in fraud? You bet. Unscrupulous workers seeking a little relaxation may be inclined to fake a workplace injury, begin receiving workers compensation benefits and get a doctor to prescribe some cannabis for their “ailment”. What’s better than a paid vacation from work – especially when that vacation comes with a free pass to get high? Insurance fraud with a bonus.