Canadian Workers’ Comp Claimant Seeks Medical Marijuana

It would be easier on Danny Auger’s already thin wallet if he just took a prescribed painkiller to deal with the chronic pain he suffers from nerve damage, due to a horrific 2009 construction accident that almost completely severed one arm.

He is able to get medically prescribed drugs — no matter how addictive — paid for by the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (formerly Worker’s Compensation Board).

But the 47-year-old Orillia man knows and fears the addictive aspects of painkillers and prefers to use marijuana (mostly through ingestion, occasionally smoking) to deal with his pain. For about two years he’s had a licence from Health Canada, supported by documentation from a medical doctor, that allows him to legally use it after obtaining it from a designated grower.

The cannabis is expensive. Auger is allowed 20 grams a day, but he can’t afford that. He uses about an ounce, or 28 grams a week, which costs him $250 to $300.

“It still leaves some of the pain … but you cope with it,’’ he says.

His only income is $882 every two weeks from his worker’s comp benefits. He shares an apartment with his mother, who lives on a pension.

Auger wants his marijuana covered through WSIB, just as a prescribed painkiller would be.

So far, WSIB has said no. His case manager, Patti Staines, said she could not discuss an individual case with the Star.

– Read the entire article at The Toronto Star.