Yesterday I wrote about my conservative counterpart Donald Douglas of American Power trying to vilify President Obama by accusing him of treason for wanting to reform our broken health care system. His post was mostly just reproducing what someone else wrote rather than thoughts original to himself (come to think of it, that type of cut and paste technique describes many of his posts...) so I didn't take great exception to it. I just refuted the assertions he reposted and made fun of him a bit as I am occasionally wont to do but later I saw another posting about medical cannabis that I found somewhat more concerning. The subject of said post was this news story:
Even though Michigan resident Joseph Casias had a prescription from his doctor for medical marijuana, he was fired after a positive test for the substance by his employer, Walmart.Now regular readers will know that I find situations like this to be pretty fucked up and I'll get to that in a moment but first here's Don's assessment of the story:
The news last November he'd been terminated was devastating for Casias, 29, who took great pride in his job, once earning the honor of Associate of the Year.
"It hurts. It hurts because I care. I care a lot about the store. I always wanted to make sure I do well," he told ABC News.
Casias started taking the medicine last June to cope with pain from sinus cancer and a brain tumor. He says the rare form of cancer causes him pain constantly and he almost died when he was first diagnosed.
Casias sprained his knee at work last November and underwent the routine drug test that follows all workplace injuries. Questioned about his positive test, Casias told management about his condition and presented a state card authorizing his marijuana use for medical purposes, but he was fired anyway. Casias says management told him Walmart does not honor medical marijuana cards.
"I just can't believe that it has to be this way. I don't see why they have to fire me," he said.
Michigan is one of 14 states where medical marijuana is legal, but employers in the Wolverine state can and do terminate employees who fail drug tests. Walmart policy, like the policy of other companies, indicates that in states such as Michigan which allow marijuana use for medical purposes, the store can still terminate an employee following a positive drug test. The law in Michigan says employers do not have to accommodate the ingestion of marijuana in the workplace or employees working while under the influence.
Walmart is right.It's shortsighted and misinformed to be sure but what really bothered me about the post was it's title: "Yes! - Walmart Fires Workplace Stoner for Medical Marijuana on the Job!" Yes! A powerful corporation firing a productive worker (an Associate of the Year, no less) for something he does privately in his off work hours is definitely something to be glorified and celebrated! And the fact that the poor guy has a brain tumor and painful cancer is just the sweet cherry on this neoconservative sundae! Compassion, thy name is Donald.
The issue is workers who are on the job under the influence. But I'm impressed that Walmart's bucking the larger trend toward cultural breakdown and the permissiveness of abuse. Here's hoping we see like outcomes in additional cases like this one.
Now I've taken Don's irrational hatred of cannabis to task before (he never responded, of course) but the fact that he's actually cheering for a cancer patient losing his job this way is disturbing and quite frankly classless as well. Don has admitted that he doesn't smoke cannabis while the things he says about it betray rank ignorance on the subject and this latest post is no different. If "the issue is workers who are on the job under the influence" as he says then there really is no issue here. Reading the rest of the article that Don didn't quote tells us that Casias wasn't fired because he came to work high or was smoking on the job (although the title of Don's post seems to imply as much), a drug test merely showed that he had ingested cannabis at some point in the last thirty days (that's how long the active ingredients remain in your system, despite the fact that the psychotropic effects dissipate within a few hours).
And this isn't someone who is perfectly healthy and abusing the intent of the medical cannabis laws of his state to procure the drug for recreational use (yes, some medical cannabis patients fall into this category but since I advocate for the drug's legalization for everyone this point is moot for me), he has a painful cancer and a life threatening brain tumor. What's wrong with him using a fairly benign drug in his home to alleviate that pain? Nothing, unless like Don you believe that it is the job of a nanny state federal government to tell people how to live their lives and what they can and can not put into their own bodies. Once again, apparently governmental overreach into the lives of American citizens only exists when it comes to taxes and health care. The fact that this man tries to portray himself as a small government conservative is a sad joke, and so is this post.
[Update: Regular reader and friend of this blog tnlib has this video featuring similar levels of conservative compassion at a teabagger rally in Ohio posted over at Parsley's Pics:
Disgusting, but it certainly refutes the right-wing talking point about how civilized and well behaved the teabaggers are in comparison to liberal protesters. Now I know what you're thinking: OK, Douglas reveled in the firing of a cancer patient from his job for no reason other than that the guy likes something that Don doesn't but surely he wouldn't approve of this type of abuse being heaped upon an old man with a debilitating disease, right? Wrong:
Safe bet says this "Parkinson's Victim" is a well-placed plant, plopped down into the center of the protest to stoke outrage on the left, precisely as the ObamaCare monstrosity's going down. Look at the guy: Are those tremors? How about cognitive dysfunction? Can't really discern physical or cognitive impairment from the clip, so perhaps he's got mild symptoms. No matter. I seriously doubt a genuinely debilitated Parkinson's sufferer would subject himself to such indignity. The dude's a punk prankster. And for what? Shovel-ready ObamaCare. God, that's just awful. I mean, seriously, there's nothing more disgusting than putting someone up for such utter desperation. You've got SEIU thugs at the event (see the full viddy), so it's no surprise. They'd beat your grandmother to establish death panels.I imagine Don flailing his arms about Rush Limbaugh-style as he laughs derisively at this man and his supposedly nonexistent disability. And notice the absolute lack of any condemnation or even disapproval of people standing over an elderly man and yelling abuses at him as if he were a piece of trash rather than a human being. Even if the man were indeed a "punk prankster" that kind of behaviour would still be reprehensible. I've known people with Parkinson's and I can tell you that it's not always readily recognizable but one thing that is is someone acting like a callous asshole. I recognize that quite easily, Don.]