Casias v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 11-1227 (6th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 2008, Michigan passed the MMMA, Comp. Laws 333.26421, to protect medical marijuana. Any “qualifying patient” who possesses a registry identification card is not “subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty of any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business.” Plaintiff was employed by Wal-Mart for five years before he was terminated after testing positive for marijuana, in violation of the company’s drug use policy. The test was administered on the day after Plaintiff injured his knee at work. Plaintiff was diagnosed with sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor at age 17; he experiences constant pain and side effects of medications. In 2008, Plaintiff’s oncologist recommended marijuana; Plaintiff obtained a registry card and maintains that he followed state laws, never used marijuana at work, nor did he work under the influence. Plaintiff sued in state court for wrongful discharge and MMMA violation; defendants removed to federal court based on diversity. The district court denied remand and dismissed. The court held that the store manager, a Michigan resident, was fraudulently joined and that the MMMA does not regulate private employment. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, noting that the manager had no potential liability.