Up-Date on Wal-Mart Lawsuit

A lawsuit was filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in partnership with a law firm, on behalf of Joseph Casias, 30, who has an inoperable brain tumor and is in remission for sinus cancer, and uses marijuana to alleviate his pain.  Casias is suing Wal- Mart for firing him after he injured himself at work, received treatment and tested positive for marijuana during a drug test.

A Wal-Mart spokesman last week said that the corporation has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drug use and follows federal law, under which marijuana is illegal.

The lawsuit is the only known of its kind in Michigan, according to several lawyers and a state official, but Casias isn’t the only person to complain. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights has two active investigations involving people claiming they were not hired for jobs after disclosing they are medical marijuana users.

The Michigan’s medical marijuana law says a person shall not be subject to “disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board of bureau” for using marijuana in accordance with the act. The problem is that it also says the law doesn’t require an employer to accommodate the ingestion of the drug in the workplace or an employee working while under the influence.  In addition, marijuana is illegal federally that there is no legal standard for measuring marijuana.

A court opinion could help clarify whether an employer in the state of Michigan is required to permit an employee to use medical marijuana outside the workplace and then come into the workplace with some levels of marijuana in their system.  The state’s disabilities act says employers can establish policies regarding the use of ILLEGAL drugs, which should not apply to the legal use of marijuana, because it is LEGAL.

If you have been charged with a marijuana offense or need information on becoming medical marijuana patient or caregiver contact:

Samantha@ambroselawgroup.com or call (248) 624-5500

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