Boycott Walmart for Firing Medical Marijuana Cancer Patient

WalMart pulled a major bonehead move this week when it sacked a cancer patient — a former Associate of the Year — for following his doctor’s advice and using medical marijuana, which is perfectly legal in Michigan. As a direct result, medical marijuana advocates are now organizing a nationwide boycott of the retail giant.

Join the Facebook group “BOYCOTT: WalMart Fires Cancer Patient For Medical Marijuana”

Take action at Change.org and Stop Walmart from Firing Cancer Patients for Using Medical Marijuana

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company, notorious for its corporate stance of social conservatism, looked like a big, dumb, lumbering, heartless beast. But WalMart still hasn’t budged, and is completely unapologetic about firing Joseph Casias, who suffers from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor.

The wave of revulsion and outrage over WalMart’s treatment of Casias is growing exponentially as more people learn what was done — and with 80 percent of the American public supporting medical marijuana, the results of a boycott could be substantial.

The wave of revulsion and outrage over WalMart’s treatment of Casias is growing exponentially as more people learn what was done — and with 80 percent of the American public supporting medical marijuana, the results of a boycott could be substantial.

Casias worked at the Battle Creek, Michigan WalMart for five years, winning employee of the year in 2008 despite battling cancer.

Last November, Casias sprained a knee at work; during the routine drug screening that follows any workplace accident, marijuana was detected in his system. Casias showed WalMart managers his Michigan medical marijuana card, but was fired anyway.

“I was told they do not accept or honor my medical marijuana card,” Casias said.

“In states such as Michigan, where prescriptions for marijuana can be obtained, an employer can still enforce a policy that requires termination of employment following a positive drug screen,” said WalMart spokesman Greg Rossiter from company headquarters.

“We believe our policy complies with the law, and we support decisions based on the policy,” Rossiter said.

It’s time to teach WalMart that mistreating medical marijuana patients isn’t just dumb and cruel; it can also be very, very bad for business.

WalMart’s moralistic and intolerant stance towards legal, medical marijuana users is out of step with both legal reality and modern American sensibilities.

Highlighting the chain’s utter hypocrisy is the fact that they have no problem with employees using harsh pharmaceuticals like Vicodin and other addictive opiates, but fire employees for legally using medical marijuana in its herbal form.

Enough of this nonsense, already. The voters of Michigan legalized medical marijuana with an overwhelming 63 percent majority. It’s time for clueless corporate employers like WalMart to enter the 21st Century.

The nationwide boycott of WalMart by medical marijuana supporters begins now.

– Article from Toke of the Town.


Rally for fired medical pot patient

by Dani Carlson, WOOD/NBC

A rally was held Sunday in support of Joseph Casias, a registered medical marijuana user and cancer patient who was terminated from his job at Walmart late last year.

Casias, a five-year employee, was fired after testing positive for a controlled substance: marijuana.

“If I take a medication that I have a legal right to take, why should I lose my job for that?” Casias said. “Especially when I gave everything I had for them (to) try to be a role model employee.”

He has a prescription for the drug and said he uses it for pain from sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor he has been suffering from for the past 10 years. Marijuana is one of the only things that can help get him through the tough times, he said.

Casias didn’t use marijuana on the job or before work during his years at Walmart, he said. He hurt himself on the job, and after that, had a routine drug test.

That’s when the controlled substance was detected. He told 24 Hour News 8 he showed his managers his medical marijuana card, but eventually was fired anyway.

“I’m just trying to control my pain,” Casias said. “That’s the only thing I’m trying to do here — control my pain. I’m not an abuser of the drug or anything like that.”

He said he shouldn’t have been fired in a state where medical marijuana is legal.

The law on the issue isn’t crystal clear. According to the text of the law at Michigan.gov, it says people using medical marijuana “shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for the medical use of marihuana in accordance with this act.”

But later on, it says, “Nothing in this act shall be construed to require … An employer to accommodate … any employee working while under the influence of marihuana.”

Casias and dozens of supporters gathered outside the Battle Creek Walmart, where Casias used to work, to protest. The group wanted him to get his job back, receive an apology from Walmart and a change in policy.

However, Casias said even if Walmart offered him his job back, he’s not sure he would take it. At this point, he and his family are debating how far they will take this fight, he said.

“In states such as Michigan, where prescriptions for marijuana can be obtained, an employer can still enforce a policy that requires termination of employment following a positive drug screen,” said Anna Taylor, of Walmart Corporate Communications in an e-mail. “We believe our policy complies with the law and we support decisions based on the policy.”

Walmart should change its policy, Casias said.

“I think employees should be judged by the quality of their work, not the quality of their urine,” said Greg Francisco, a protestor and the executive director of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association. He told 24 Hour News 8 the ACLU is aware of this issue.

“(It’s) overwhelming and I feel very blessed at the same time that all these people gave up their time to fight for this effort,” Casias said.

Casias said Walmart is trying to challenge his unemployment benefits. He has a phone hearing scheduled at the end of March.

– Article from WOOD/NBC.

Comments

7 Comments

  1. Brian Kerr on

    I will boycott Walmart. They will never get another 47 cents out of me.

  2. Anonymous on

    Yeah, I love Meijer’s too. Better Variety and Better prices. Been trying to convert Walmart shoppers all the time. Most importantly, I can not see where Walmart thinks that they can make medical decisions? What about employees taking Codine ? Or, cough medicine? This guy was not smoking on the job, just tested positive when he hurt his leg at work. That is Walmart’s policy, to test after an accident, then if they find something, then they can deny you coverage. Bravo, Walmat! Boycott, Boycott

  3. Anonymous on

    post a link to where we can email walmart to let them know how wrong they are.Millions will contact them. Bastards

  4. Sephex on

    One more reason I DO NOT SHOP AT WALMART. EVER.

    Those low prices are coming out of someone’s lifeblood.

  5. Anonymous on

    I bet walmart has a Life insurance policy on him still….those bastards, I will never shop at walmart again. Meijers is has fresh veggies and fruit anyway.

  6. Anonymous on

    down with walmart ,i’m outraged and will NOT shop there anymore