Fired Wal-Mart worker wins case under Arizona Medical Marijuana Act; ‘an important decision’ says Laura Bianchi, Rose Law Group partner and director of Cannabis 


By David B. Weisenfeld | XpertHR

federal judge has ruled that a fired Walmart employee who had a state medical marijuana card has a valid discrimination claim under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA). The company had suspended the employee without pay and then terminated her after a post-accident drug screen came back positive.

The AMMA provides that an employer cannot discriminate in hiring, termination or any other term or condition of employment solely based on a qualifying medical marijuana patient’s positive drug test. At the same time, the Arizona law does not require a company to allow any employee to work while impaired or under the influence of marijuana.

However, the court ruled that the employee’s positive drug screen alone was not enough to support any claim by Walmart that she was impaired while at work. It noted that the plaintiff, Carol Whitmire, was tested after a workplace accident in which a bag of ice fell on her wrist.


“Federal Judge concluded there was nothing to show that the employee used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on the job and found Walmart discriminated against her under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program.

Such an important decision for MMJ patient rights and perhaps a legal trend as other courts are finding in favor of MMJ patients and their rights to consume and posses medical marijuana.”

~Laura Bianchi