Joseph Casias of Battle Creek, Michigan, has been using medical cannabis to treat the constant pain caused by his sinus cancer and brain tumor for a number of years. The husband and father of two suffers from an inoperable brain tumor and cancer, but has refused to let his condition stop him from working and living a full life.
Before his cancer diagnosis, Joseph lost all his energy, would cough up blood and suffer from nose bleeds regularly. Once he was diagnosed, he soon lost the ability to perform even the simplest of daily tasks as his acute pain was so severe. His dramatic weight loss also transformed the previous strong, fit man into someone with no energy or strength whatsoever.
The tumor had eaten away at the bone marrow in the back of Joseph’s neck and all hope seemed lost. That was until his oncologist suggested he try medical cannabis, which was legal in Michigan at that time.
Now, Joseph says that the debilitating pain is gone, his energy and appetite is back, he is feeling stronger than ever, and his quality of life is vastly improved. However, this is unfortunately not the end of his story.
Having worked at Walmart for over five years and progressed through the ranks of the company into a managerial position, Joseph was fired from Walmart when they discovered that he was a medical cannabis patient.
The American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit against Walmart on behalf of Joseph and his family, who have lost their livelihood. The ACLU claim that employers have no right to interfere with the medical choices made by employees and that, because Joseph’s work never suffered as a result of his medical cannabis use, the dismissal was unlawful.
This case not only affects the well being of Joseph and his family, but medical cannabis users across the United States. As the number of states legalizing medical cannabis grows rapidly, employers must reconsider their policies towards its use by employees.
This case will be of significance not just in Michigan, but will set a legal precedence for future disputes across the US. It is expected that it will provide much needed protection for those who are using medical cannabis legally to manage their health problems in a safe and effective way.