Medical Marijuana Case Working its Way up the Judicial Ladder … in MichiganFebruary 25th, 2011 by josh farley
Turns out Washington’s not the only state where issues over medical marijuana are being litigated. The American Civil Liberties Union earlier this month filed an appeal to a federal judge’s decision to throw out a Michigan case of a medical marijuana patient fired from Wal-Mart for his use of the drug.
In January, we covered our state supreme court’s hearing on a similar case in which a woman was fired from Teletech in East Bremerton for using medical marijuana to relieve migraine headaches. The woman is authorized under law to use medical marijuana.
She sued; her case was thrown out at the county and court of appeals level and it was taken for review by the state’s highest court. We are still awaiting their opinion.
Here’s the press release from the ACLU:
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The American Civil Liberties Union today said it will appeal a decision by a federal judge to dismiss its lawsuit filed in June against Wal-Mart and the manager of its Battle Creek, Michigan store for wrongfully firing an employee for using medical marijuana in accordance with state law. The patient, Joseph Casias, used marijuana to treat the painful symptoms of an inoperable brain tumor and cancer.
Michigan voters in 2008 passed the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, which provides protection for the medical use of marijuana under state law. But in a 20-page ruling today, U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Jonker said the law doesn’t mandate that businesses like Wal-Mart make accommodations for employees like Casias, the Battle Creek, Michigan Wal-Mart’s 2008 Associate of the Year who was fired from his job at the store for testing positive for marijuana, despite being legally registered to use the drug. In accordance with the law, Casias never ingested marijuana while at work and never worked while under the influence of marijuana.
The ACLU will appeal today’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.