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Medical Marijuana and Your Health Coverage

While medical marijuana is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia, you’ll have to pay for it out of your own pocket: even in states like Washington and Colorado, where the drug is completely legal, health insurance doesn’t cover it. The conversation has moved into the insurance realm after recent arguments about the drug’s classification as a schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, a classification some argue is inaccurate. A substance that falls under schedule I – a list which includes heroin, LSD and ecstasy – adheres to the following, according to the federal government:

  • “No currently accepted medical use in the United States”
  • “A lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision”
  • “A high potential for abuse”

There are strong arguments both for and against reclassifying and insuring medical marijuana, though it’s unlikely that use of the substance will be covered by health insurers within the next few years. If you don’t already know the facts of the debate, this will provide an overview of the fight for coverage.

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From a Yellow Canary of the 21st century, living in our disabling biosphere

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