Video Interview: Fired WalMart Employee/Medical Marijuana Cancer Patient


Cancer patient and former employee of the year Joseph Casias says he was unfairly fired from WalMart after he tested positive for a controlled substance. He’s a registered Michigan medical marijuana patient, reports Smita Kalokhe of FOX 17 News.

Photo: WZZM-13
WalMart fired cancer patient Joseph Casias for following his doctor’s instructions and using medical marijuana

​Casias says he’s battled sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor for 11 years. Most of the time, he’s treated his pain with a concoction of pharmaceutical pain killers. But when Michigan legalized marijuana for medical purposes, he signed up. Casias is one of the state’s 10,022 registered patients.

In the fall of 2009, Casias fell while on the job. He says Wal-Mart required him to take a drug test, which came back positive for a “controlled substance” (never mind that medical marijuana is now legal in Michigan).

Casias was fired.

On Sunday, dozens of people (some reports say up to 100) protested outside of Wal-Mart, saying what the company did wasn’t legal.

But a spokesperson for the retailer disagrees. The company says the test don’t say which drug was found in Casias’ system; all it shows is that a controlled substance was found, which is a violation of its drug-free policy.

The Michigan Community Health Department, which oversees the program, says if an employee is taking marijuana for medical purposes, they cannot be terminated for drug use. However, the health department doesn’t get involved in legal matters, and a spokesperson says if Casias wants his job back, he’ll probably have to get a lawyer.

Medical marijuana activists have declared a nationwide boycott of Walmart to protest the unfair policies of the retail giant.