Human rights board rules employee insurance plan must pay for Nova Scotia man’s pot

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has ruled that a man’s prescribed medical cannabis be covered by his employee insurance plan, a ruling advocates say will likely have impact nationwide.

Head of Chezzetcook resident Gordon “Wayne” Skinnersuffers from chronic pain following work-releated motor vehicle accident and successfully argued that he was being discriminated against when coverage was denied.

Inquiry board chair Benjamin Perryman concluded yesterday that since medical cannabis requires a prescription by law, it shouldn’t be excluded from Skinner’s insurance plan.

Perryman ruled the Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Plan contravened the province’s Human Rights Act, and must now cover Skinner’s expenses “up to and including the full amount of his most recent prescription.”

“Denial of his request for coverage of medical marijuana … amounts to a prima facie case of discrimination,” the ruling states. “The discrimination was non-direct and unintentional.”

Read the full story by Canadian Press reporter Keith Doucette here.