March 24, 2010
Posted: 10:00 PM ET
Casias lives in Michigan, where medical marijuana is legal.
But his employer, Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, fired him in November 2009 after he failed a drug test.
Casias, 29, says he never came to work high. He's got a medical marijuana card to prove he's allowed to smoke legally in the state.
"I was angry they did this to me because I always tried my best," said Casias, who was employed at Wal-Mart for five years. He earned an Associate of the Year award in 2008. "I want my job back. I thought I was part of the Wal-Mart family."
To date, 14 states have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana, which shield legal users from criminalization but don't protect them from them penalties enforced by their employers. As more people are being prescribed marijuana across the nation, they are wrestling with a caveat: They could be fired.
Without laws defending medical marijuana users from employers' drug policies, Casias and a growing number of medical marijuana users are being let go from their jobs, says Keith Stroup on the legal counsel team of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He said his office, headquartered in Washington, receives about 300 e-mails and phone calls a year from medical marijuana users who have been fired or had job offers rescinded because of a failed drug test.
"Usually they talk about how they have lost their job," Stroup said. "And I tell them there's not a thing they can do about it."
Filed under: Larry King
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