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Photo: Katy Batdorff/The Grand Rapids Press
Cancer patient Joseph Casias was Walmart’s Employee of the Year — but they fired him after learning he uses medical marijuana with a doctor’s authorization.

​Walmart’s former Employee of the Year won’t be going back to work there. A federal judge on Friday ruled that Michigan’s medical marijuana law protects legal users from arrest, but doesn’t protect them from employers’ policies which ban pot use.

Joseph Casias, who has an inoperable brain tumor, was fired by the Battle Creek Walmart after he failed a routine drug test following a workplace injury, reports John Agar at The Grand Rapids Press.
“The fundamental problem with (Casias’) case is that the (medical marijuana law) does not regulate private employment,” U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker wrote in his 20-page opinion.
“Rather, the Act provides a potential defense to criminal prosecution or other adverse action by the state… All the (law) does is give some people limited protection from prosecution by the state, or from other adverse state action in carefully limited medical marijuana situations,” the federal judge ruled.
According to Judge Jonker, the law “says nothing about private employment rights. Nowhere does the (law) state that the statue regulates private employment, that private employees are protected from disciplinary action should they use medical marijuana, or that private employers must accommodate the use of medical marijuana outside the workplace.”

Katy Batdorff/Grand Rapids Press
Mayor Jack Poll of Wyoming, Michigan, wants to “protect” citizens from medical marijuana. Now, who’s gonna protect ’em from Mayor Poll?
Is this guy your mayor or your daddy? Mayor Jack Poll of Wyoming, Michigan, wants to “protect” citizens from medical marijuana. Now, who’s gonna protect ’em from Mayor Poll?

A resident of the city of has filed suit over the municipality’s intent to ban ban medicinal cannabis within city limits.

John Ter Beek, a retired attorney and former board of education member, said he is licensed to treat pain from his bad back and diabetes with cannabis. He filed suit this week in Kent County Circuit Court, reports Matt Vande Bunte of The Grand Rapids Press.
In the suit, dated Monday, Ter Beek said this month’s City Council decision tramples the rights of Michigan voters who overwhelmingly (63 percent yes) approved medical marijuana at the polls in 2008. The suit also says the decision violates the second article of the state constitution, which guarantees citizens’ right to pass an initiative that amends state law.
Ter Beek said the city’s ban is vague and overly broad, besides.
But Mayor Jack Poll, who thinks he knows better than the voters, claimed the ban shields residents from “possible hazards” of a “poorly written” state law.
“We’re looking to advertise that (Wyoming) isn’t the best place to set up shop (for marijuana),” said former liquor store owner Poll, a pharmacist. “We don’t want it, and we think it would be a detriment to the city.”
“If nothing else, time will be on our side,” the mayor said. “If (the ban) defers (medical marijuana) from the city of Wyoming for any amount of time, then I feel it’s an accomplishment.”
“I’m out to protect our citizens as long as I can,” said the paternalistically condescending mayor.