Have your say: Should benefits plans cover medical marijuana?

Benefits Canada‘s most recent cover story looked at the hazy regulatory environment around medical marijuana and the uncertainty over whether group benefits plans should cover the drug. What do you think?

While medical marijuana has been around for years, Health Canada has yet to issue a drug identification number for it and many plan sponsors are unsure about how to handle coverage amid questions about its effectiveness.

Nevertheless, medical marijuana has worked anecdotally for many patients and can be cheaper than other medications. For Jonathan Zaid, founder of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, the substance offered relief from a chronic condition called new daily persistent headaches where other medications had failed.

Read: Veterans Affairs urged to better manage drug plan, marijuana costs

“It’s really a long process and people react with misconceptions surrounding it at first, so there’s a lot of education needed in most cases,” Zaid, who succeeded in getting the drug covered, told Benefits Canada.

So what do you think? Do you believe the medical and cost benefits of marijuana are clear or should plan sponsors refrain from covering it? Or does the answer depend on getting more clarity on the medical and regulatory issues? Have your say in our weekly poll.

As for last week’s poll, which asked whether working vacations were a good idea, nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents said employers should discourage them in order to allow their staff to recharge and avoid burnout. About a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents thought working vacations were a practical way to minimize the impact of being away and the remaining 11 per cent didn’t see them as a problem if people are doing a minimal amount of occasional work.

Read: Employers advised to discourage staff from taking workcations