Judge rules WalMart can fire employee with brain tumor who uses medical marijuana
Joseph Casias was the Associate of the Year at Wal-Mart's Battle Creek store. He was fired, however, after a blood test revealed marijuana in his system. Casias has an inoperable brain tumor and secured a medical marijuana card to obtain marijuana for palliative purposes. The Federal Judge held that Michigan's medical marijuana law does not "trump" an employer's right to ban the use of dope--even outside the workplace.
Casias claimed that he only used the drug after-hours and there was no conflicting testimony to suggest that he was ever intoxicated at work. The judge concluded that it was unnecessary for Wal Mart to prove that Casias used the drug at work: he held that the employer has the right to terminate an employee's employment simply for acknowledging use or failing a drug test [that may show the presence of the drug in an employee's system for 30 days or more].
Casias' attorneys pointed out that persons with serious medical problems should not be forced to elect between gainful employment and adequate pain relief.