ACLU to Appeal Ruling in Medical Marijuana Case

By Staff Report

Feb. 17, 2011

The American Civil Liberties Union said it will appeal a ruling by a federal judge who found that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. does not have to accommodate employees who are legally registered to use medical marijuana.

The case involves Joseph Casias, a 2008 associate of the year at a Battle Creek, Michigan, Wal-Mart store who was fired after he tested positive for marijuana use.
Casias was legally registered to use marijuana to treat pain associated with an inoperable brain tumor and cancer. But he did not ingest the drug at work, according to the ACLU.

In 2008, voters passed the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, which the ACLU claims protects workers like Casias. But U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jonker said the law doesn’t mandate that businesses accommodate employees.

The Feb. 1 ruling came after a recent finding by a Michigan magistrate who said neither an employer nor the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer are required to pay for medical marijuana that is reasonably necessary to treat an injured worker.  

Filed by Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail


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