Man mauled after smoking pot can get workers' comp

"HELENA, Mont. – A Montana judge says it’s not a worker’s fault he got mauled by a grizzly bear at a tourist attraction, even if he smoked marijuana before trying to feed the animal. Brock Hopkins acknowledged smoking pot before arriving to work at Great Bear Adventures on Nov. 2, 2007. When he entered the bear’s pen, he was attacked and had to be hospitalized. The owner of the attraction near Glacier National Park says Hopkins was a volunteer and that his use of marijuana caused the accident. "

The whole point of worker’s compensation is to take the concept of ‘fault’ out of payment for job accidents. The only exceptions are ‘frolic and detour’.

Even if we pretend, for just one minute, that smoking pot isn’t inherently stupid to begin with: what the heck is one thinking, to use it right before doing something dangerous??

I recall years ago a man was killed by a bear at Yellowstone. This was an adult, or at least was old enough to be married and have children. He got out of his car (!) to snap pictures of a mother bear with her cub (!!) while they were EATING (!!!) He went up the them, snapping pics all the while, until he got within paw-swipe distance. And that was that.

Two teenaged boys were killed at a local zoo because they decided, for whatever bizarre reason, that it would be a good idea to climb into the polar bear enclosure.

Do people have common sense anymore?


Did you read the whole story (which I doubt includes the all of the truth)? This wasn’t a tourist getting baked and then hoping into the pen with a bear. He was paid, thus considered an employee. This means he had a legitimate reason for going into the pen. Furthermore MT is a medical marijuana state, therefore how do you know his use of marijuana prior performing his duties wasn’t lawful?

Does “common sense” include reacting to something like this with incomplete information?

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