As I discuss in this video, there is a disconnect between how marijuana is treated under federal law and how it is classified in many states. Under federal law – and remember that Social Security is a federal government agency – marijuana is a dangerous Schedule 1 drug with no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse.
By contrast, many states have either legalized recreational marijuana or decriminalized it. Even more states allow for medicinal marijuana to be prescribed by doctors.
My experience has been that few if any Social Security disability judges will deny your case if your record reveals that you have been consuming medical marijuana under a doctor’s care.
However, disability judges can still deny your case if they find that substance abuse is a “material and contributing factor” to your disabling conditions. Judges expect to see proof that you are using marijuana under medical supervision. So you cannot purchase marijuana on the street and expect a judge to accept your testimony that you are smoking it for therapeutic purposes.
What do you think? Should Social Security issue a policy statement clarifying how disability judges should evaluate marijuana use by a disability claimant. If you are responsibly using marijuana to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, gastric distress, glaucoma or other medical needs, what should judges do? #medicalmarijuanaandsocialsecuritydisability #marijuanaandsocialsecuritydisabilityhearings #denieddisabilitymarijuana
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