March 24, 2010

Medical marijuana users risk job loss

Posted: 10:00 PM ET

(CNN) - When a rare form of cancer invaded Joseph Casias' nasal cavity and his brain, his doctor prescribed marijuana to help alleviate the daily pain.

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receives about 300 e-mails and phone calls a year from medical marijuana users who have been fired or had job offers rescinded because of a failed drug test.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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Lottie Hines   March 24th, 2010 10:55 pm ET

I read an article in a Cambridge, Ohio newspaper on the editoral page...a drug lord was interviewed and the question to him was.....if drugs were legalized today, how would this affect your business.........the answer was......I would be broke by midnight. If marijuana was legalized in every state, our economy would not be in the shape it is. The idea that it leads to stronger drugs is just not true. Look at the countries that it is legal in, they do not have crime rate or violence we do. And speaking of drugs, what was Baldwin on last night, he made a fool of himself. As
long as the Republican Party have Palin, Baldwin, Romney, and too many more to name, the Democrats do not have anything to worry about.

A. Smith, Oregon   March 24th, 2010 11:11 pm ET

The total winners in America's War on Drugs are the Drug Cartels which make Billions of dollars thru selling illegal drugs and the often corrupt Police Dept's who recieve Billions of taxpayer dollars supposedly to fight the War on Drugs.

The total losers in America's War on Drugs are everyday American citizens.

Legalizing Marajuana would remove over 50% of the Drug Cartel funding, greatly reducing their ability to bribe Police, DEA, FBI, Border Guards and State Troops to work for them, aid and help them.

Legalizing Marijuana and Cocaine would remove over 80% of the Drug Cartel funding, dropping their cash flow below the levels which are needed to even support their huge organization. They pay to Government officials, Police agency's would stop and a great deal of violence would disappear across America and in Mexico.

A BIG mistake is in keeping the current enormous cash flow to the Drug Cartels and Police Agency's where it is now. Corruption is rampant when you are talking about Billions of untraceable dollars.

Drug Cartels and Police Agencys do not want to stop America's War on Drugs because each of those two corrupt organizations are making Billions on it.

It took decades to weed out the Mafia and Organized Crime from America's city's and political positions after being fattened by hundreds of Millions of dollars during America's prohibition of Alcohol.

The same is likely going to happen AFTER America stops its failed War on Drugs and begins dealing with the damage that War has created.

Eddie   March 24th, 2010 11:35 pm ET

I think its bloody stupid! If they are allowed to use medical marijuana they should be protected.......

Luis B Rosario   March 24th, 2010 11:38 pm ET

There is no empirical evidence that affirms or confirms that
legalizing Marijuana and cocaine will eradicate criminal use
of the susbstance(s). In fact in countries where opium is grown
legally like Afghanistan -drug lords employ people to work the
fields at cheap wages and they also use them as enforcers
to sell the drug to other countries where the use of marijuana
and narcotics is still against the law. The same argument has
been used against illegal prostitution. Some countries legalized
prostitution to find that there was a large increase in killer
diseases such as Aids and Syphilis. Some of those countries
or repealing or have repealed the law. There is hardly any
concrete evidence that points to marijuana as a medicine
in countires where marijuana is cultivated including Mexico
and Columbia. Cannabis Hashish, a stronger (as known as
Indian hemp) of the marijuana family is a " subtle crazing drug
used in the Orient as a narcotic stimulant has never been
legalized, as a medicine in those radical countries. I wonder
why? The only one who claim that marijuana is great as
medicine to combat glucoma and neurotic illness is the
people who like marijuana. The evidence to corroborate its
medical use is very slim and contradictory. One thing I now,
you dont' to have an altercation with a person high on marijuana
and you would not prefer to be a passenger in a car with a driver
high on Marijuana. Imagine the police responding to
domestic violence involving a person high on cocaine. I once
saw a 120 pound man high on cocaine fighting with 5 police
officers and he was getting the upper hand until they tasered him.
Even with handcuffs behind his back is still needed to officers to
put him in the ambulance to take him to he hospital for
detoxification. He was finally removed to a psycho ward where
they had to place him in a straightjacket. So if you want to
legalize cocaine go ahead and we can always evaluate the
consequences later.

jack   March 25th, 2010 12:04 am ET

It is actually a harmless yet effective treatment for many maladies. It is a mild alternative to many synthetic medicines that have dire side effects. It was sold over the counter as a tincture into the 1930's, and until there was a campaign of blatant lies against the herb ,it was not even on the public's radar. They used it as an effective medicine, that has no danger of causing a death from overdose. Even a relatively small number of many prescription and OTC medicines will kill. Cannabis , on the other hand, has never had a death attributed to it when used alone. A marvelous track record I would say.

Luis B Rosario   March 25th, 2010 12:18 am ET

O course I oppose the harsh penalties issued to people convicted
of illegal possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia. I have
seen cases where a judge in New York sentenced a young
man to 15 years for possession of 1 once of cocaine. And there
were people convicted for possession of minute amount of
marijuana for the accused own use from 1 to 3 years in prison.
The 3 strikes and you are out sent a lot of young men to prison
for 15 years and more. Unscrupulous judges and prosecutors
had a party with this type of convictions. Prosecutors running for
office had a great harvest during those days. The 3 strikes
youare out for drug use has been repealed in New York and they
should do the same thing with DUI. These crimes are a disease
and the people involved should be sent to detoxiication centers
instead of sending them to prisons overcrowded with hard core
criminals. In these medium and high security prisons a person
on a felony DUI is considered to be a felon like any other prisoner,
thereat . DUI psychological and physiological treatment
(detoxication) is non-existent for DUI violent offender( involved
in accident with serious injuries while DUI at these facilities.

Luis B Rosario   March 25th, 2010 12:29 am ET

Hi amigo. Good to hear from you again. The problem I see with
legalization is that the government makesit a controlled business,
imposing taxes and tariffs until people continue using it illegally
where they can find it much cheaper in the black market. It is the
same that happened with liquor after prohibition. Now they sell
liquor in any store around your neighborhood, including gas
stations. You buy a can of beer at the gas station and 2 minutes
later an officer stops you and charges you with possession of
an open container of liquor. You are under arrest, even if you
are not drinking. Why would you authorize the sale of liquor
at a gas station. Ninety five percent(95%) of the buyers are
motorists. Why are they buying beer thereat if not intending
to drink it shortly after the purchase. It is a source of entrapment.

A. Smith, Oregon   March 25th, 2010 12:31 am ET

@ Luis B. Rosario, if you legalized Marijuana then obviously it would eradicate criminal use of Marijuana because it would then be LAWFUL to do so.

County's in Nevada that have legalized prostitution certainly do not show any increase in Aids nor Syphilis and the prostitutes undergo regular medical inspections.

There are plenty of historic evidence of Marijuana and Hashish as medical drugs for child birth to migraine headaches over a very long period of time.

Hashish was legal for over 100 years in America and found in the Western cowboy towns in America where cowboys from a long cattle drive often smoked Marijuana and took Hashish in many of the legally available FORMS to help alleviate their joint pains.

Cocaine was also originally part of Coca Cola, the leaves of the Cocaine bush are used not only to LEGALLY treat eye problems, in Peru the Cocaine leaves are used to LEGALLY treat altitude sickness and to treat arthritis. Peruvian Indians that regularly chew Cocaine leaves have ZERO arthritis.

People that regularly and routinely chew Cocaine leaves do not go wacko, act crazy nor do they exhibit any of your uninformed deviant actions.

claudio   March 25th, 2010 12:53 am ET

Part of me says to Legalize it and most of me says DONT. Can you Imagine these teenagers and young adults what they would do if they could get high anytime they wanted.... If you think the world is going down the tubes now just wait till everyones high. Then America really would'nt be worth the paper its written on.

jack   March 25th, 2010 1:25 am ET

@Luis B Rosario..Hi, Yes there may be people dodging the tax , but as an herb that grows freely, they could just tax the higher grades, that have been inspected and certified organic, for instance. Since the medicinal herb is essentially harmless, if it has widespread use, it should not create any problem with underground sales. There would be a restriction against the use by children, and the availability would probably be about the same as now. The big burden of costs of hordes of police agencies tasked with enforcement, and the court and incarceration costs would end. The problem of putting decent , harmless people in a cage instead of allowing them to be with their families as productive citizens would end. And finally, the terrible violence caused by it's illegality and the profits made by the criminal underworld to finance real crime, would largely dry up, insofar as their cannabis sales are concerned. By the way, they could impose a fair tax and still drive the cartels out of business, since they factor in the costs of it being rare due to prohibition.

jack   March 25th, 2010 1:31 am ET

@claudio...It is legal in Holland and the scenario that you suggested does not exist there. In fact they had to close their prisons , so little real crime. And as far as the use , it actually declined. So look at all the advantages and compare to the disadvantages of maintaining a costly, prohibition that after many years, has proven to be counter productive in so many ways, and very costly in terms of money and lives negatively impacted .

A. Smith, Oregon   March 25th, 2010 4:33 am ET

@ claudio, nearly all of the common recreational drugs were legal in America for hundreds of YEARS and there wasn't rampant zombies out running rough shod. Cow pokes smoked plenty of Marijuana in the wild west and very few if any became 'drug addicts'. Cocaine was found in Coca Cola which was entirely refreshing and certainly helped homesteaders with arthritic conditions. Opium tincture was legally available in the corner Pharmacy and was found in a multitude of tinctures in various amounts.

Ben Franklin not only was a Pot Farmer, it's entirely likely and historically accurate for GEORGE WASHINGTON to have been a Pot Farmer also.

The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights were both written on HEMP PAPER, Paper made from Marijuana Plants which last hundreds of years without discoloration unlike toxic and acidic Paper made from Tree's (Hint, Hint).

Levi Jeans were originally made from HEMP which is stronger and more durable than Cotton. And Cotton is a huge WASTE of dwindling water resources much less the extensive use of pesticides sprayed on them which contaminates the ground and drinking water.

There are a myriad of positive Green Reasons for Commercial Use of Marijuana and Hemp Products. Fire resistant plywood grown by plants which mature in 6 months and naturally fertilize the ground. Hemp fiber that is much stronger than tree fiber. Beautiful furniture, flooring, bio-fuel, bird-seed, clothing etc. etc.

It is utterly idiotic to give China Billions of taxpayer dollars for them to have child slaves grow HEMP and ship the finished products to America for sale. ALL Hemp products sold in America should be legally grown and made here in America. England realized this decades ago and now grow Commercial Hemp which is processed in England's ancient clothing industrial plants.

Luis B Rosario   March 25th, 2010 10:18 am ET

Like the health care reform bill, there are always going to be two
sides to a controversial subject. The anecdote of cowboys doing
long hours while smoking marijuana has to be true but we have
to understand that only few used it for medical reasons in vast
terrain where if you fell off the horse after intoxication, you broke
some bones, or broke your neck and that was it. Now we have
so much congestion in the cities that has changed the topography
of America. Legalizing marijuana to be used with a prescription
for medical purposes is not the same as legalizing it for recreational
use(like cigarettes and liquor). Cocaine was eliminated from
coca cola after if was found to cause adverse medical affects
on children(it has been documented by leading experts in the
medical and psychological field. There is no legal or medical
argument that can justify the use of cocaine other that if it is
prescribed as a pain killer because cocaine is higly addictive
and causes other ill effects. The use of coca leaves is not
the same as using coca powder which has been concentrated
and redifined to cause a extreme high to kill pain and affect
the mind and the nervous system. The problem is who is going
to police the marijuana and cocaine users once is legalized for
general consumptiion. We have a real big problem with
the use of liquor. Each police zone(precinct ) uses 3 to 5 police
cars and personnel to do traffic stops for driving under the
influence. (DUI). There are another 3-4 police cars giving out
trafffic citations for going 5 miles over the limit. These officers
prefer to do this type of work than to fight crime because it is
70 % easier to make overtime and to obtain a conviction in court.
I lived and worked where marijuana and cocaine use was
prevalent. I had daily contact with people under the influence of
these drugs and interaction was very complicated. It is not
a birthday party everyday for everybody. A lot of peope do not
celebrare on their birthday.

Would you prefer a docttor to perform surgery on you after
snorting a high dosis of cocaine or mariuana. How about your
mecanic, or your chef, your dentist, your teacher, and the average
Of course you can cite barons who cultivated marijuana and were
exemplary people in history. The problem is were they using
the product and how much? I know chefs that don't eat the food that
they prepare. And a seamstress who goes to the store to buy
the cloth that she/her wears. Ben Franklin and George Washington
may have been pot farmers but the question is were they daily
users and how much they use. I have a friend that had a liquor
store for 25 years until he retired. He never drank the stuff unless
he is at a social where he drinks moderately. But he told me that
he saw plenty of people come and go to buy liquor and drink
it they collapse. He said he did not care much -the more they
drank -the better for his business.
In summary. We may have different views about the subject
of legalizing vs. prohibition. Legalizing may stop the drug dealer
from making big profits and from using tainted drugs that kill
the users but with legalization there will be the need for more
police and more law enforcement who will take advantage to
make more arrests and make more overtime. It is like the seat
belt law. The taxpayers will always bear the brunt of change.

I will not oppose legalization if the majority votes for it on
a referendum taking it to a vote by Congress like we did with
the health care refolrm bill. Like I said before what bothers
me is the severity of law enforcement against users instead
of prosecuting the server(the dealers). The prison system
is full of drug users and liquor drinkers. It costs an average
of $100,000 per prisoner per year and many are kept in prison
for more than the original prison term because the parole
board and the DOC prefer to keep them longer to make more
money from taxpayers. Like drug cultivation, the prison system
is a lucrative business.,

Luis B Rosario   March 25th, 2010 11:02 am ET

@A. Smith ,Oregon
I appreciate your input and your information is excellent. That is
why I read all your comments. "Life is always an ever learning
process and there may be some learning after death too." (LBR)

Luis B Rosario   March 25th, 2010 11:09 am ET

@Peterson Corea Pimentel, Brazil
You an incredible imagination.

Chere   March 25th, 2010 11:26 am ET

This is definitely a debatable issue. Last week a few blocks from where I live a 26 year old father of one and soon to be father of another child was riding his motorcycle to work early morning. A car in the lane next to him lost control, struck him and killed him. She was high on marijuana and lost control because she was trying to wake up her passenger who had passed out from same. The opposite effect of medicinal purposes in this scenario I would say.

Hugh in California   March 25th, 2010 12:01 pm ET

Most sensible people are not condoning smoking medical marijuana and then driving an automobile, any more than taking any other legal substance, including alcohol or prescription drugs that would effect someones driving ability.

Susie   March 25th, 2010 12:09 pm ET

Well I think that would be another way for taxation for the federal government. They are probably thinking of that now since California is broke. I would think they would jump on it.
I personally do not care one way or the other.

DR GARY   March 25th, 2010 1:16 pm ET

There are parts of your personal business you never share with anyone. Even it they are your friend. Friendships can end and then everything you've told them they have a memory recall. I'm sure we've all experienced that one time or another. If not, your day will come.

Chere   March 25th, 2010 1:24 pm ET

Very, very true. Just ask John Edwards or Martha Stewart about their best friends.

True. The only problem is we seem to have fewer and fewer sensible people everyday.

Hugh in California   March 25th, 2010 1:37 pm ET

Whether or not we have fewer sensible people today is not a valid reason to deny sensible people the right to smoke medical marijuana. I witnessed my dear aunt suffering from cancer, and it was the only thing that give her an appetite. Taking away any individual rights from everyone because some abuse those rights - is wrong.

A. Smith, Oregon   March 25th, 2010 3:00 pm ET

I've been overflown by Helicopter Gunships heavily armed with machine guns as I hiked the redwood forests. As a US Forest Employee I've been overflown by National Guard Helicopters loaded with Guard members heavily armed with multiple M-16's. They were looking for Marijuana plants. What a incredible waste of taxpayer dollars!

I've had a childhood friend murdered by corrupt Sheriff's in a mistaken pot bust, he lived in a mountain cabin with a remote water supply who the pigs thought was a pot irrigation system. The pigs were not charged with his murder of course.

I've seen many ranches and homes confiscated and sold for penny's to family members of the pigs that stole that land simply because someone jumped over their fence and placed a single pot plant in their lower forty acres.

I've seen friends have ten's of thousands of dollars in cash confiscated by pigs after having their doors kicked in under the aspects of that being 'drug money' however the owners earned that money legally and did not trust banks.

Ten's of millions of State Revenue dollars are used to film large areas with expensive infra-red film supposedly looking for pot plants. Extremely expensive and very intrusive Police Suburban vehicles travel the streets at night with infra-red sensors looking into homes and garages supposedly looking for pot plants.

The entire point of this heavy handed police involvement is to strike fear and terror into law-abiding citizens at tremendous costs to the State and Federal revenues.

The blow-back upon the Federal Govt. and Police agency's is enormous, entire generations of citizens and immigrants now hate Police agency's, they would rather bust the windows in their police cruisers than help them solve a burglary in the neighborhood.

Dodie   March 25th, 2010 3:35 pm ET

@ A. Smith, Oregon

Incredibly powerful blog. Thank you for expressing your personal feelings and experience on this subject. I, too, have seen many lives destroyed, homes and jobs lost, by law enforcement in California over issues regarding Cannabis. People riddled and suffering from continued, enduring horrific pain, sickness from Cancer, Glaucoma, sea sickness and numerous other medical issues, still the government spends millions of dollars to destroy a plant that creates no threats to society! ‘Why’ is the million dollar question? Why? Alcohol is the most toxic drug known to man. Alcohol takes out every organ including your brain and it is continually legal. However, Cannabis, a naturally growing plant has been illegal for how many decades? Why?

Disclosure time: In 1971, I was arrested for ‘one’ Marijuana joint in god forbid, Orange County, California. The seat of conservatorism to the extreme. Since, at that time, Orange County was relatively free of drugs, the Judge wanted to make an example of me. He tried sentencing me to 30 years in prison. 30 years for one joint! Does anyone have any idea the trauma of that experience? I fought that judge and Orange County with everything I had. I circled my wagons and regrouped. I was fortunate enough to have a very good friend who shared my Pot high desire and a top notch lawyer. I never served the 30 years. If I had, my life would have been destroyed. I stopped smoking Cannabis many years ago. We always think we are free in this country; however, just like a frog that is placed in a pot of cool water… when the water heats up slowly, the frog never realizes it is boiling, until too late.

Kathryn   March 25th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

I do not believe that mariijuana should be legalised becaus eit is going to definitely be abused.

However, the biggest problem is with cocaine and othe rhard drugs that flood HOLLYWOOD and the rich neighbourhoods and homes. These drugs are not in Brooklyn, Bronx or other "poor" neighbourhoods.

The people living in the rich neighbourhoods are the ones at the top of the drug killing and usage. The police lives in black neighbourhoods but they need to start to look elsewhere!

Shame on them!

Dodie   March 25th, 2010 4:06 pm ET

@ Kathryn

Alcohol is abused on a daily basis including DUIs numerous deaths, domestic violence... and the list goes on. However, it has continually been legal. One must wonder why? Maybe because the Christians use alcohol in religious ceremonies; therefore, will never be considered illegal!!!

I wonder who really runs this country?

A. Smith, Oregon   March 25th, 2010 4:08 pm ET

@ Dodie, yikes 30 years! The sad back story on that would be the many similar cases before that same court from poor or homeless defendants that received that full term and were unable to mount a suitable legal defense to overcome it.

During the Nixon administration, his most vocal critics were the anti-war protesters that commonly used recreational drugs. Nixon was the one that crafted a way to send as many of his critics into America's prison legally as he could by creating a scheduling system which removed many drugs from the hands of the medical practices entirely and placed them into the arena of politics where it has remained until recently.

So many people have been pushed into extremely long prison sentences for drug offenses which American taxpayers pay 75,000 dollars per prisoner per year.

Its time to stop waging a political war on 'plants' and restore respect and dignity to the American People once again.

Perhaps with the Democratic majority's in Congress, Senate and a Democratic President in the White House, that time has come.

mike   March 25th, 2010 5:53 pm ET

Do not insult pigs, they're pretty decent animals. Bottom line is's time for a revolution of sorts, I've been thinking this all month. I don't think man-kind can be smarter than the limitaions of his brain will allow him to be. The problem with that is that we're not even trying

there is so much stupidity, every day we're being told that homosexuality is right, that Obama is black, and that the war in Afganistan is right, what Israel is doing is right.

I got nothing aginst homosexuals, it's an alternative to having ssniveling little brats, but it's not right nor normal, nor is Obama black, and the war in Afganistan is murder and genocide all in one.

Am I the only person that did not know Anderson Cooper was gay ?
I'm lighting a joint, and I'm going to smoke it....

Dodie   March 25th, 2010 6:32 pm ET

@A. Smith, Oregon
You bet-cha!...... 30 years! Enough to make a 19 year old sprout silver white hair and hide down a rabbit hole somewhere!

Luis B Rosario   March 26th, 2010 2:23 am ET

A. Smith, Oregon
I feel strongly for you and the pain, emotion and anger that you
still feel since 1971. It was and still is a "miscarriage of justice"
when the police, the prosecutor and the judge conspired to sentence
you to 30 years for possession of marijuana joint. That is the
problem with our criminal justice system(in the USA). Each police
jurisidiction, each prosecutor, each judge, each DOC(Department
of Corrections) and each parole board in each state have free
reign to administer justice and penalties to a prisoner for the same
crime committed in another jurisdiction. There are ulterior motives
for some jurisdictions to convict prisoners to a longer term than
if the crime had been committed somewhere else. Some
jurisdictions have no industry,no technology and no natural
resources(no agriculture and no minerals). These communities
depend on police/sheriff departments, traffic courts district courts
and jails to sustain their citizens. Law enforcement is the only
source of employment and consequently to them it is a business.
There are at least 2 such jurisdictions for adults in the vicinity
where I reside and one (1) reformatory school for adoslecents
in Marianna located between Tallahasee and the panhandle.
Dont expect any mercy from the criminal justice system at this
locationa unless your lawyer is connected with someone in that
vicinity Otherwise if you request an appeal your request will be
denied. In this community setting all law enforcement personnel
are related. If you are from out of town and convicted of a
crime and sent to prison all law enforcement personnel know
each other and if you cross one police officer, or a corrections
officer, retaliation is expected and it will be done. They will
make life difficult for you and even your prison term may be
increased if the parole board receives adverse info from your

difficult for the prisoner and the prison term may be

Dodie   March 26th, 2010 10:14 pm ET

@ Luis B Rosario

Thank you for your kind support. It was many years ago, however, it is one memory I would like to place out of consciousness. Ah, Love the term: "miscarriage of justice".

Thank you for an explanation of our judicial system. You are one person who certainly knows and understands that end of the spectrum. In those days, L.A. was fighting its war against drugs and Orange County did not want to be in the same loop; hence, the outrageous penalty. However, If one was caught driving intoxicated with Alcohol, it was ignored unless the person was completely inebriated. Then only in the “drunk tank” over night and sent home the next day.

In 1982 there were $43,954 traffic fatalities with 25,973 alcohol related. This means that 60% of all fatal accidents were alcohol related. Between 1982 and 1983, as many people were killed in alcohol related accidents as were in a war. Granted the fatalities are dwindling in number; however, one would surmise that alcohol was clearly a dangerous drug and be placed on an illegal list. As you well know regarding Domestic Violence, 99% of those are all alcohol related. I have never seen a DV case that was Cannabis induced! Have you? lol

Thanks Again Luis for your kind thoughts and wonderful blogs!

Luis B Rosario   March 26th, 2010 11:43 pm ET

Don't think for a moment that things have changed much since
1982. Our law enforcement still is tainted with politics. We should
have a uniformed law for all in all the states. No state should
declare independence from the federal governmetn unless such
state will have a referendum to secede. In this case the federal
government and tax payers from other states are not obligated
to collect monies to be divided among states when we split the pie.

Fourteen (14) state attorney general have declared the intention
to sue Barack Obama over the health care bill. Would you believe
this? An attorney general is supposed to be the" keeper " of
the laws of the land. He is supposed to oversee the dispensation
of law in an equitable, fair and even handed manner without
prejudice. Here we have 14 attorney general representing 14
states violating the law. If you and me violate the law these
are the ones who are supposed to have the final say on law
enforcement in each state and here they are violating the law
themselves. It is preposterous, unethical and possible criminal.

Democrats go after State Attorney Mc Collum, " by Marc Caputo,
St Petersburg Times.

Days after Florida Republicans assaulted President Barack
Obama's health care reform, the State's Democrats launched
a political counterattack Thursday aimed squarely at the GOP's
front-runner for governor: attorney General Bill McCollum (they
gentleman is attorney general, running for governor and is
himself a law violator).
And capping it all: a Washington Democratic leader accused
McCullum of skirting state law by failing to go through the proper
channels before filing his lawsuit, a charge that McCollum denied,"
according to Marc Caputo, St Petes' Times, fl.

This is nothing other that a pollitical frolic," said Sen. Dan Gerber,
a Miami Beach Democrat running for for attorney general, who
said that the incumbent's fivoluous law-suit is an ideological
escapaded" that won't survive in the courts. " We want our
chief law enforcement officer spending tme protecting our
citizens( not playing politics with the law) said Gelber.

Not only is McCollum playing politics by suing the federal
government on the health care reform issue, he is spending our
taxpayers' money in excess by going out of the state to hire
a Washington attorney to represent him. (not us) . McCollum says
the law suit will cost taxpayers about $50,000 for the law-suit.
( But we shouldn't have to pay anything out of our own pockets
because we are not suing the federal government over the
health care reform bill that just passed) .

Dodie   March 29th, 2010 3:18 am ET


Wonderful blog and again filled with information. I agree, the numbers of people killed from drinking and driving are still very high and go unreported. Statistics show it to be lowered; I suspect because they often do not do alcohol or drug tests after a fatal accident; therefore, many will go unreported. Each state has their own mandate. Some states like California has Cannabis legal if you go to the MD. Other states, you are still tossed in jail. ~sigh~ You would think they could make wiser use of their money on other issues than Cannabis. When have you ever heard someone on cannabis shooting up a school and killing others. Or beating their wife and kids. Alcohol and meth are the two drugs that create more havoc than all the rest put together. I am not advocating that we should legalize all drugs; however, I do feel it would be wiser to legalize cannabis. That is just my opinion.

The US is in a true dichotomy! This is tearing at the very fabric this country was built on.

Luis B Rosario   March 29th, 2010 9:55 am ET

Yes. What you say about DUIs that are not reported may be true
is some states while other states make arrests for .0008 %.
Liquor stores are sprouting like flowers in Spring all over the place.
Gas stations sell liquor, grocery stores sell it and imagine
the pharmacy where you go for medicine for detoxication, liver,
stomach and kidney problems caused by drinking liquor, are
selling it and some locales they sell liquor even on Sunday.
" Law enforcement and big business will say well it is up to you
to know how much and when you consume." Most people who
go to socials don't bring a DUI gauge with them. " It is easy to
to increase the rate above .0008 % -.0009 and you are under
arrest despite the fact that you passed the sobriety test. Your
criminnal record is damaged, you have to hire a lawyer, you
lose your license, your insurance goes up and you lose your job.

My advice is "stop selling liquor like apples." It is what we did
with cigarettes. They say cigarettes are bad for your health
and billions of dollars from taxpayers have been used to
detoxicate users and for media warnings. Tobacco firms have
been taken to court and multimillion lawsuits have been won
by users (smokers) and their families. Let start doing the same
thing with liquor stores and wholesale corporate liquor breweries.

There will a clamour from the liquor industry that people are
going to lose jobs but we have to start somewhere. We can't
just take for granted that social drinkers and alcoholics should
bear the brunt of the criminal justice system alone when the
the temptation is everywhere you make a pit stop to buy gas
to buy groceries.

Alaska 's natives and Indians have a big problem with liquor
because liquor is cheap and easy to buy but Alaska is just
one example of how pandemic the liquor epidemic is in the
United States. We use to criticize Russia and their Vodka
use. WEll, we too are in dire straights. Close down the liquor
stores, or stop the persecution of social drinkers. Send them
to detoxification centers for treatment instead of throwing them
in jail. We got a serious problem here but law enforcement
and MADD lobby hard for convictions and they are getting it.
I know people that have been convicted of DUI while riding
a bicycle. A bicycle is not a motorized vehicle. The judge did
not care. Throw them in jail. And I say throw the liquor store
salesman and corporate liquor in jail, too. Kids growing
see liquor in the candy store, at the ice cream parlor, at
social gatherings, at the supermarket, at the restaurant.
A percentage will abstain from drinking. The majority of
Americans drink and drive(not in excess but enough to be
arrested by a zealous police officer ) .0007 is just one ounce
of liquor. Imagine 100 million people with a DUI record.
The same thing is going to happen when they legalize pot.
Mark my words somewhere in your calendar. The government
and politicians will find a way to still send you to jail for an
indefinite term(according to the police, prosecutor and judge
assigned to your case). It is a vicious cycle in America.

william   July 1st, 2010 2:18 pm ET

I generally dont like drug use and think its wrong, but this is a grey area and need to see both sides of it. i I think walmart should look at peoples character more and be strict about that, if this person isnt doing their job then fire that person. I Think people deserve the benefit of the doubt, I really think walmart needs to be tougher on character and their workers productivity and look at each person on a case by case basis. They need to use judgement based on the character and how that worker is doing for the company and how they benefit the company. I think this case should be looked at though and investigated by walmart and the manager should have asked the worker why they tested positiv and shouldve have the right to analyze this case. This should be documented in the employees folder and looked at if theres further issues, and take this case into the workers future. I dont think marijuana shouldnt be legal, but medical marijuana I understand it for cancer, diseases, and other ailments I look at both legal drugs and persrictipiIons have many side effects and cause problems also. I think if people have these aiments I understand the need for medical marijuana, personally i dont like it but I think people should have that right for medical use, especially if its terminal or Really it has to be the ability to perform their job, if that person cant do their job and has a direct or even indirect cause of the medical marijuana than the person should have been laid off, but otherwise this person needs to keep their job.

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