Widow penalized for late husband’s legal marijuana use
DENVER — The state of Colorado is denying half the workers’ compensation death benefits to a woman whose husband died while working on a ski lift because he had marijuana in his system.
KMGH-TV reports Erika Lee’s husband, Adam Lee, was crushed to death in December underneath a ski escalator in Loveland.
Erika says she’s frustrated the system is saying “because he smoked a legal substance, we are going to take away your benefits from you and your kids,”
Colorado law allows state workers’ compensation companies to cut benefits by 50 percent if tests return positive for marijuana or any other controlled substance.
Erika plans to appeal the decision by Pinnacol Assurance, a quasi-state workers’ compensation agency, to cut her benefits. A hearing is scheduled before an administrative law judge in the coming months.
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Wayne Hall took a job as an air traffic controller at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in 2003 thinking he would stay for a short time. Instead he stayed for nearly 17 years and was promoted up to the position of air traffic manager. He reflected on the experience upon retirement.