Wal-Mart Associate Fired from Job for Using Medical Marijuana
A feature on MSNBC got us thinking: how welcome is medical marijuana in the workplace, at least in states where it is deemed legal? What kind of protection do the laws of a state that govern medical marijuana provide to the people who use them?
Joseph Casias, a Wal-Mart associate working in Battle Creek, Michigan who is suffering from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor was reportedly fired from his job – because he tested positive for marijuana use. He has been using marijuana since last summer; it was prescribed by his doctor to help deal with the pain that he has to endure because of his condition, since a therapy that consists of traditional pain killers alone was not as effective.
Casias said in the article, though, that he did not use marijuana while on duty and did not go to work high. Still, one morning, he was suddenly called into the store manager’s office and was informed that he had been fired. Casias shared: “I never thought I would be terminated for this. At first I thought, ‘This wasn’t true. How could this be right?’”
Casias tested positive for the drug after suffering from a knee injury while on the job. A spokesperson for Wal-Mart, Greg Rossiter, said however that while the company was sympathetic to Casias’ condition, “we have to consider the overall safety of our customers and associates, including Mr. Casias, when making a difficult decision like this.”
At the same time, a spokesperson for the Department of Community Health of the State of Michigan, James McCurtis, said that a person who has a medical marijuana card and uses the drug for medical purposes should not be discriminated.
Tags: legal marijuana use, medical marijuana, michigan marijuana