BISMARCK - North Dakota House lawmakers voted 81-9 Monday, Jan. 23, to prevent workers' compensation from paying for medical marijuana.

House Bill 1156 was introduced in response to the measure approved by voters last November that legalizes medical marijuana in North Dakota for defined medical conditions.

The bill prevents North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance, the state's workers' compensation system, from paying for medical marijuana for a workplace injury.

The bill also states that any wages lost related to an employee's use of medical marijuana or the presence of the drug would not qualify for workers' compensation benefits.

"Despite the efforts by states to legalize medical marijuana, it remains a Schedule I drug and illegal by federal law," said Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot.

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WSI expects to incur increased litigation expenses stemming from the recently passed medical marijuana law, according to a fiscal note attached to the bill.