Michigan Medical Marijuana Users Can Still be Fired for Usage
You would think if a doctor prescribed you medication, you would have nothing to worry about regarding your job. That is not the case when it comes to medical marijuana though, check out the details on recent findings and what it means for patients.
Michigander, former Walmart employee and medical marijuana patient, Joseph Casias has found out the hard way that a medical marijuana card doesn't mean you can fail a drug test. Casias, who has an inoperable brain tumor was fired from a Battle Creek Walmart after the company drug tested him and found he was positive for THC. Walmart has a strict drug testing policy, testing before any employee is initially hired and after any employee is hurt on the job. Along with testing for marijuana, the company tests for other illegal drugs.
When Casias dropped dirty on his test, he sued the company. U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker dismissed the case, ruling that medical marijuana laws had no bearing on what a private company decided to do with their drug testing policy.
Casias worked at the store from 2004 to 2009, when he was fired from his job for the failed test and claims he never used the drug before or while at work. His oncologist was the person who initially recommended the use of medical marijuana after the state passed laws in 2008.
An appeals panel recently ruled on Judge Jonker's dismissal and upheld his decision.
The district court concluded, therefore, that private employees are not protected from disciplinary action as a result of their use of medical marijuana, nor are private employers required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace.
It's unfortunate that this is the case, as most companies are accepting of prescription drugs that are also controlled substances. If Casias had been prescribed Vicodin, he would still have his job. There is an undeniable lesson for all medical marijuana patients, that just because you have a card doesn't mean you have a job.