Walmart Fires Man for Treating Brain Cancer with Weed

- By Bossip Staff

Wicked a*s Walmart is at it again. This time, they fired a man who was prescribed medicinal marijuana to treat his brain cancer. No pun intended but, d*mn can he live? Pop it for details…

Walmart might keep prices low, but they sure don’t let the staff get high. According to CNN, the ACLU just filed a lawsuit against Walmart for firing an employee who tested positive for marijuana after a random drug test. Here’s the catch: The employee had a legal prescription to treat pain for brain cancer.

(CNN) — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart for the termination of a Michigan employee whose doctor verified his illness qualified for medical marijuana use.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, fired Joseph Casias in November 2009 after he failed an on-the-job injury-related drug test. Casias suffers from a rare form of cancer in his nasal cavity and brain, and he relied on his doctor’s medical marijuana prescription to alleviate the daily pain. Casias is one of about 20,000 legal medical marijuana users in Michigan.

“Medical marijuana has had a life-changing positive effect for Joseph, but Wal-Mart made him pay a stiff and unfair price for his medicine,” said Scott Michelman, staff attorney with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project.

“No patient should be forced to choose between adequate pain relief and gainful employment, and no employer should be allowed to intrude upon private medical choices made by employees in consultation with their doctors,” Michelman said.

Wal-Mart officials say they are sympathetic to Casias’ condition, but the company needed to put the safety of its customers and associates first.

“As more states allow this treatment, employers are left without any guidelines except the federal standard,” wrote Lorenzo Lopez, a director of media relations at Wal-Mart, in an e-mail to CNN. “In these cases, until further guidance is available, we will always default to what we believe is the safest environment for our associates and customers.”

The ACLU’s lawsuit, filed in Calhoun County Circuit Court in Michigan, comes at a time when the controversy over medical marijuana is still being debated in many states. To date, 14 states have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana, which protect legal users from criminalization. But the laws are murky when it comes to protecting users from termination by their employers in some states.

Casias told CNN in March that he never arrived at work high and used the medical marijuana only outside of his work hours.

Michigan is an at-will employment state, which means employers can terminate a worker for any reason except for being in a federally protected class such as race, gender and religion. The ACLU is arguing legal medical marijuana users should also be protected under a Michigan law.

“I was angry they did this to me because I always tried my best,” Casias said to CNN in March. He had worked for Wal-Mart for nearly five years to support his wife and two young children. He started at the company as a grocery store stocker in 2004 before moving up to become an inventory control manager. He earned an Associate of the Year Award at Wal-Mart in 2008, a year before his termination

He has battled with his cancer for more than a decade. The lawsuit says the medical marijuana was able to provide him with pain relief.

Now that’s what you call a rollback. They made him roll his a** back to the house. So what do y’all think? Should people who have legal prescriptions be permitted to continue working, even after failing a drug test?


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  • Somali Ninga

    That’s bull$hit! everyone knows that good ol’ mary jane eases the pain of cancer!!

  • God favors Me

    Man Wally world fucced him over. 5 yrs my nicca?? Dats dirty!! Wally world full of shyte, if for 5 yrs u couldn’t detect him slacking in his job, then firing him makes yall full of crap.

  • Sanriobaby =^.^=

    Anyone who really pays attention to the buisness practices of Walmart isn’t surprised. It’s disgusting that they would terminate someone who tested positive for a drug that they are LEGALLY entitled to use under the care of thier doctor. This man has cancer!!!! I get that Walmart will claim in court that they have a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to illegal drugs, but in this case, common sense should have preveiled.

  • Joe

    Well, it’s a tough situation all around. This is where the difference between state’s rights and federal jurisdiction will come into play.

  • Bossipgirl

    If Walmart advertises the fact that they are a “drug free workplace” the employee should have disclosed that pre-injury. It is procedure that a failed drug test will cost you a job (and a workers comp claim). Had the ex-employee disclosed his medical use of marijuana prior to the accident, it would have probably allowed him to keep his job.

  • 1TruDiva w/the PlatinumVocals-I'm just too good to be true!!!

    “Now that’s what you call a rollback. They made him roll his a** back to the house”

    Ya’ll be KILLING me here lately!


  • 1TruDiva w/the PlatinumVocals-I'm just too good to be true!!!


    Come getcha boy!

  • She said it.

    I don’t know why they fired him. All Wal-Mart is going to do is undercut all these mom and pop weed stores and start selling it in bulk to their already doped up consumers.

  • that damn sh#$ disturber

    i’m surprised wallet world didn’t take out an insurance policy on him and list themselves as the benefactor…they’ve done it before. yet another reason why i refuse to shop there!

  • eye4neye

    I’m confused. If he has been battling cancer for a decade but employed at Walmart for 5 years, why didn’t his drug screen come back dirty upon hire? If he didn’t have a drug screen, why didn’t he disclose to his employer that he was taking the medication to treat his cancer? And how do we know the on the job injury didn’t have anything to do with his “medicine?” We don’t so let’s not pass judgement on Walmart for implementing their policy on drugs. I sympathize with the young man and his family, but he had some disclosure to do and possibly didn’t until after he was tested.

  • So, AND

    And he presented a danger to their customers and other employees how? Only thing they should have been worried about is half eating cookies from the shelf from him having the mun chi chi’s.

  • So, AND

    @ 1TruDiva w/the PlatinumVocals-I’m just too good to be true!!!

    Now that was funny…I’m on the floor my damn self laughing at that one

  • Sharie


  • It's Me

    He should have made Walmart aware of his condition and explained that the doc is giving him a prescription for his cancer. bad on him for not disclosing this…

  • tg

    Give him a desk job – then. Find something he can do without having to interact with customers. Whatever – they could offer a better solution than firing the man after he proved his point. Freak Walmart – anyway. I don’t shop there.

  • BossLady

    @ It’s Me- The Patient Privacy laws say NO ONE has to disclose to their employer their health status. Only in certain cases of healthcare workers. Be thankful for this law are many of us would not be employed due to high blood pressuse, cancer, diabetes, etc as they cause employers health insurance premiums to rise.

  • RonJon

    @ eye for an eye – ever stopped to think maybe he didnt have a medical marijuana presecription upon hire? Also, you may not be aware that a person legally DOES NOT have to disclose their medical conditions to their employers. Its safe to say this his injury did not have anything to do with his medicine because he’s been taking it up until now and performing so well he made EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR in 2008 – so again – your point is moot.

  • Thamissez

    Technically under doctor client confidentiality the patient would not have to tell his job about the medically prescribed drug…and since he has a prescrition that means its longer an illegal drug…so where is their defense?

  • eye4neye

    @RonJon-no point is moot. I am very much aware that a person DOES NOT have to disclose their medical condition. It’s their right. I am just suggesting that maybe it would have been appropriate to inform his employer that he is taking medication that can be misconstrued as a illegal substance to treat a medical condition. Why take the test knowing you have this drug in your system and not offer an explanation PRIOR to the test? Also, making EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR in 2008 has nothing to do with an on the job injury and its circumstances in another year. So that point is moot. Good Night!

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