Thursday, March 18, 2010

American Power And Reefer Madness

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.

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.
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:
Walmart is right.

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.
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.

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.]


Steven said...

Please...don't call 'Don' your conservative counterpart as you did at the beginning of this post. He's a non entity, a fool, and he doesn't deserve to be a counterpart of anyone. Thank you.

Leslie Parsley said...

These people aren't only mean, they're certifiably insane. What an ugly society we've become.

More than likely this is Walmart's way of getting around the ADA. DD's misinformed observations re the victim of Parkinson's is absolutely reminiscent of Limbaugh's cruel rant against Michael J. Fox. I guess ignorance and primitive behavior likes company.

Excellent post and thanks for the tip.

JoMala "Truth 101" Kelly said...

I forgot honor and decided to ignore the Donald's banishing to post this on his blog JBW. I doubt the douchebag would be man enough to not moderate it so I'm posting it here also if you don't mind.

Of course you will modersate this out before your army of backward thinking fools read it Don, but you truly are a dick for supporting the tea bagging creeps that mocked that poor guy with Parkinsons. As well as supporting Walmart's firing of the cancer victim that had to smoke pot to ease his pain.

I hope neither you or any family member of yours suffers any diseases or conditions like these two poor guys do. Unlike you Don, I actually do care about my fellow human beings. You sir, are an asshole of the highest order.

I was respectful of your banishment Don. But it was your despicable attitude that caused me to ignore it.

My reasons for outrage instead of my usual just poking a little fun at Douglas ar my own. Fuck him and anyone that thinks like him.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you are WAY to kind call Donald your 'conservative counterpart....reality is he is just a Michelle Malkin wannabe...

With his anger, most likely an in the closet cross dressing Michelle Malkin...

So, Walmart fires an employee who was taking their prescribed medication? I wonder how many other Walmart employees were following their doctors orders by taking medication that had warnings of 'do not operate machinery" on them?

Not knowing Walmart's personnel manual, but I am sure it refers to 'illegal substances' this kid has a multi million dollar lawsuit in his future....

Donald comes from that strain of conservative who's values are based upon "screw them"

He could call himself an "S&M Conservative..." if it doesn't inflict pain and suffering then why would it be a value?

Nothing like a commie hater who got his Ph.D on student loans, got himself a teaching job at a state funded university, lives in a socialist state, and hides behind his union when ever it benefits him....he wouldn't be squat if it wasn't for socialism....

JBW said...

Steve, I understand your concerns. Please know that I only do so ironically and extremely mockingly.

Gracias, Leslie. If I thought Don had a better sense of humor I might have thought that he was parodying Limbaugh and I wouldn't put it past him to claim so if he read this.

T101, post away. I don't censor any opinions here, amigo.

TAO, the cross-dressing comment is just too disturbing. Imagining Don in some tight party dress like some kind of turgid neocon sausage takes my appetite away.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Who the heck is Donald Douglas? Do I know this person?

JBW said...

Don't front Octo, you know you find him as entertaining as I do.