The Walmart employee in Michigan who was fired for his medical marijuana use – Joseph Casias – has lost the latest appeal of his wrongful termination lawsuit, this time in a Michigan Appeals court.

The court on Wednesday upheld a decision by a federal judge in Grand Rapids, who said Wal-Mart Stores could fire an employee who tested positive for marijuana.

Joseph Casias was an inventory-control manager at a Walmart in Battle Creek until he tested positive for marijuana in 2009. He has a Michigan medical-marijuana card and uses pot to alleviate symptoms of an inoperable brain tumor and cancer.

Wal-Mart says marijuana use conflicts with its safety policy in stores.

The appeals court says the state medical marijuana law provides some immunity in criminal cases, but it doesn’t offer protection to people in the workplace.

A shame for Joseph, and this story really highlights how careful advocates have to be when drafting potential medical marijuana laws. Specific protections for everyone who uses medical marijuana have to be included. Patients with jobs can find themselves unemployed if their state’s medical marijuana law doesn’t include a provision protecting them.

– Joe Klare

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3 Responses

  1. Chris Shepherd

    Sec. 4. (a) A qualifying
    patient who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card
    shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner,
    or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil
    penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or
    professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marihuana
    in accordance with this act, provided that the qualifying patient
    possesses an amount of marihuana that does not exceed 2.5 ounces of
    usable marihuana, and, if the qualifying patient has not specified that a
    primary caregiver will be allowed under state law to cultivate
    marihuana for the qualifying patient, 12 marihuana plants kept in an
    enclosed, locked facility. Any incidental amount of seeds, stalks, and
    unusable roots shall also be allowed under state law and shall not be
    included in this amount.

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