Even if you are prescribed marijuana legally and it is deemed “legal” for medical use within a state, you can be fired from your job at Wal-Mart. Michigan resident and full-time Wal-Mart employee and married father of two, Joseph Casias, found this out the hard way.
The 30 year old was prescribed marijuana because of an inoperable brain tumor and sinus cancer. He recently twisted his knee while on the job. Following his injury, Wal-Mart conducted a urine test which is protocol after a worker sustains an injury. They found that he tested positive for the drug and fired him from his job of five years. For Wal-Mart, the legality was not an issue. They still held him accountable for acquiring a drug they still deemed illegal. Casias immediately filed a complain against the corporate giant.
“Joseph is an example of a patient for whom marijuana has had a life-changing positive effect,” the complaint said.
Wal-Mart, “because it does not approve of the lawful medical treatment that relieves his pain, made him pay a stiff and unfair price,” it added.
But spokesmen for Wal-Mart are defending their stance.
“Like other companies, we have to consider the overall safety of our customers and our associates, including Mr. Casias, when making a difficult decision like this,” he said. “In this case, the doctor-prescribed treatment was not the relevant issue.”
Casias began working as a grocery stocker in 2004, and won an award for Battle Creek’s Store Associate of the Year in 2008. Not only is he seeking compensatory damages, but he wants his job back.
Certain states protect citizens who obtain marijuana legally, while others (CA, OR, MT, WA) let companies decide whether or not to make it factor in the hiring or worker-injury process.