The nation’s largest marijuana policy reform organization on Tuesday joined Toke of the Town in calling upon shoppers across the country to boycott WalMart Stores, Inc. The boycott is to protest the unjust and possibly unlawful firing of a medical marijuana patient and sinus cancer survivor who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor.
Joseph Casias, 29, legaly uses medical marijuana to alleviate the pain resulting from his cancer, which is in remission.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is asking shoppers to demand WalMart abandon its discriminatory policy of firing employees who are legal medical marijuana patients under state law.
After dutifully working at a WalMart in Battle Creek, Michigan, for five years, Casias was suddenly terminated because he tested positive for marijuana during a drug screening administered after he sprained a knee on the job.
|WalMart fired cancer patient Joseph Casias for following his doctor’s instructions and using medical marijuana
Casias, who was named store Associate of the Year in 2008, is a registered medical marijuana patient in Michigan, where it is legal to use medical cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation.
“It’s despicable that WalMart would fire such a hardworking and seriously ill employee simply for treating his symptoms with a medicine that he is authorized to use under state law,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for MPP.
“Would WalMart also fire someone for taking doctor-prescribed Percocet, or any of the other legal medications sold in many of WalMart’s own stores?” O’Keefe asked.
Casias’s firing violates the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, which reads in part that a qualifying patient shall not be “denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to … disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board of bureau, for the medical use of marihuana.”
Under the law, the definition of “medical use” contains “internal possession” — having marijuana in one’s system.
The law does not require employers to allow the “ingestion of marihuana in any workplace” or employees to work while under the influence, but there is no allegation that Casias used marijuana at work or worked while impaired.
To add further insult to injury, WalMart is contesting Casias’s eligibility for unemployment.
MPP urges you to send a letter
to WalMart CEO Michael Duke, telling him to change WalMart’s discriminatory policies against medical marijuana.
Let Duke know you’ll be refraining from shopping at WalMart until they’ve adopted policies that don’t discriminate against the legal use of medical marijuana by employees.