Category Archives: Michigan Medical Marijuana

Casias v Wal-Mart, Inc. – An Employment Marijuana Case

Much was written about Joseph Casias and his shortened tenure at Wal-Mart, Inc.  Casias, an employee of the year winner and an honored and respected member of the Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. corporate family was diagnosed with cancer and was forced to take some time off of work.  When he was scheduled to return to work, he was required to take a drug test.  He volunteered that he was going to test positive for marijuana or THC — after all, he was a medical marijuana patient.  He might as well have said that he hated Wal-Mart and thought that Sam Walton, the now departed founder of Wal-Mart Stores, was a communist.  At least then maybe he would’ve been able to enjoy doing something worth his termination or his firing.  That’s what happened to him.  Fired.  Terminated.  Broomed.  Pink Slipped.  Whatever the phrase, he was canned.   He sued claiming a violation of his Michigan Medcal Marijuana rights.  I know his suit well.  My work on behalf of a subpoenaed party took nearly a week of my life from the beginning to the end.  Casias’ suit was dismissed today.   The Marijuana Wars continue.  They just don’t include Joseph Casias as a party or witness. 

casias dismissed – opnion

Neil Rockind, P.C., led by Neil Rockind, Super Lawyer, dbusiness Top Lawyer and Top 100 Trial Lawyers per the National Trial Lawyers Association, has a extensive Medical Marijuana practice.  Some consider our firm of lawyers the Best Lawyers in Michigan in the areas of Criminal Defense and Medical Marijuana cases.   For answers to your questions, email our office at info@michiganmedicalmarijuanalawyers.com or call 248.208.3800.

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Marijuana Patients vs Bloomfield Township Round I | 2.9.2011

Earlier in the week, I filed a lawsuit on behalf of Christopher Frizzo against the City of Royal Oak.  So when we appeared before the Hon. Denise Langford-Morris in the Marijuana Patients vs Bloomfield Township Case on Wednesday, 2.9, before the Hon. Denise Langford-Morris, I had little idea what to expect.  The Marijuana Wars to date have been nothing if not interesting and surprising.  The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is under siege.  Local municipalities and counties not accustomed to having their powers curtailed or limited are resisting mightily — picture a choking or gasping swimmer flailing in the water and so desperate to stay above the surface that when the lifeguard comes to save him, he starts to push the lifeguard under water. Government hates to have its powers limited and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does just that (robs government of its powers).

2.9 was round 1:  instead of a bikini clad woman holding up a Round 1 placard or sign, co-counsel and I got to see William Hampton, the leader of the municipal powerhouse law firm, Secret Wardle, et al.  Hampton is considered part of the old guard in Oakland County .  We’ve had other “encounters” but never in court.  In fact, I don’t think he’s ever seen me in court — certainly he’s never seen me argue a case.  All of these guys have heard the rumors about me — powerful, eloquent, passionate, witty, quick, smooth, gifted, etc. — but they all figure the rumors are overblown, exaggerated or the fawnings of young lawyers.  Guys like Hampton usually think,

I’ll handle him.

Uh, no they (you) won’t.  The powers that be in state government, etc. may try to bring me down (that comes with the territory of being a target or a public figure) but they’ll never bring me down or handle me in an actual trial courtroom.  NEVER.  So, when I get up to argue after my co-counsel Tom Loeb and William Hampton, the importance of the moment is not lost on me.  I am arguing for Michigan Medical Marijuana patients everywhere.  I will not let you down.

Round 1:  Bloomfield Township filed a motion to dismiss our Medical Marijuana Lawsuit challenging Bloomfield Township’s ordinance.  Is it based on law?  No.  Are they saying that our client’s suit is not factually just?  No.  Rather, they argue that our clients, who elected to file this suit in pseudonyms, John Doe and Richard Roe rather than expose their confidential and private names and other information to the police powers, etc., MUST identify themselves in order to have to access to the courts.  Forget long-standing precedent, e.g., Roe v Wade, Doe v University of Michigan and others, argues Bloomfield Township — they want to “out” the patients.  So we are in court.  Bloomfield Township trying to “out” and “intimidate” its residents; Loeb and I to protect the residents.  Bloomfield Township to fight the law, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act; Loeb and I to enforce it.

So when we get done arguing, I look at the courtroom and I sense Hampton’s surprise.  I imagine him saying to himself

Damn . . . this kid can argue.

There were no knockouts in Round 1 but I wasn’t expecting one.  Maybe Hampton or Bloomfield Townshp were but as I said, they know that they are in for a fight. I fight I do not intend to lose.

Neil Rockind, Medical Marijuana and Criminal Defense Guru vs All Comers

This is war.  I am loathe to use such a serious word with so many ramifications and repurcussions in this discussion/comment.  I don’t want to get lumped together with the crazies, fanatics, overzealous, narrowminded lots that use words of war in pacifist times.  That being said, this is war.  I am on the battlefront.  I am on the frontlines.  The government and the powers that be are using all of their might to pursue and undermine the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and the compassionate caregivers and patients that lie at the center of the medical marijuana community.  However I arrived here . . . I am here.  I have vowed to defend this group, this community, these people and their desire to use marijuana as medicine.  I don’t plan on losing.  Anyone who knows me knows what I can do in Court.  Come watch for yourself one day — I spill blood on the courtroom floor.  But our opponents are powerful and they are waging war.

Jessica Cooper, the Oakland County Prosecuting Attorney, Michael Bouchard, the Oakland County Sheriff, Bill Schuette, the Attorney General, Charles Semchena, a former prosecutor who now sits on the Royal Oak City Commision, Sidney Lantz, a City of Southfield Councilman who some say has been around since Roosevelt was president but aren’t such which one, Teddy or Franklin, William Hampton, the City Attorney for virtually every monied city in Oakland County or so it seems and others.  The list is long and full of powerful people who have the power and support to destroy a few lives or careers.  I say “war” because groups in power fight wars with police forces, money, armies, troops, soldiers, scare and intimidation tactics, arrests, property forfeiture and  propaganda.  The first casualty of war is the truth.   Cancer patients are being referred to as “potheads”.  Caregivers as “drug dealers”.  It is incredibly sad to see the resistance from the government against the people . . . the government is here to serve but here they just want servants. 

This fight has spawned a whole crop of groups and acronyms:

The government’s:  DEA, MDCH, OCPO, OCSD, MSP, AG, MML, MTA, NET. 

The Medical Marijuana Community:  MPP, MCCC, MMMA, MAAC, Sensible of Michigan, Marijuana Patients.org, AMMAC, CPU, et al

Make no mistake about it, a war is being waged.  The Medical Marijuana Act is brilliantly written.  Its “vaguesness” is its majesty.  Why?  Because it is written to empower the people and the public.  To limit government.  It gives us wide berth to patients and caregivers so that they won’t get trappend and prosecuted and convicted for misunderstanding a narrow, specific term.  But the government hates to have its power taken away — lilke a child who clings to his “blankey”.  Try taking it away . . . they fight back for that symbol of power and comfort.  The government is using its resources.  I write about one of its weapons — one that I confronted and exposed the other day in court:  Propaganda.

People come to watch me in court.  That has been both a blessing and a burden.  It means that I am entertaining, interesting.  It means that I am prepared and ready when called on to do something in court.   I am.  If you like seeing words used during a cross examination of a witness to “draw blood” from the witness come watch.  The other day, in the defense of a medical marijuana case in Waterford, Michigan, I cross examined a snitch/informant.  I exposed the propaganda that the Oakland County Sheriff used when these guys were arrested.

The Oakland Press wrote about the confrontation thusly:

After being pummeled with questions from a prosecutor and six defense lawyers for about three hours, [Neil Rockind, defense attorney grilled] “B”, the informant/witness about his pet alligator. During an August press conference announcing the raids, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard told the media that the alligator was guarding a grow operation at one defendant’s home.

That alligator belongs to “B” and is about 18 inches long. “B” said the alligator lives in the basement of his Birmingham home in a manmade pond in a room with a door and is not close to the marijuana he grows as a caregiver.

[Rockind questioned the witness about the name of this ferocious guard/attack alligator] and learned that it was named Chubbs, the gator has small teeth and is owned legally as a pet.

The government and Bouchard made it out to be like an attack alligator was guarding this witness’ marijuana plants.  I [Neil Rockind] revealed that to be untrue in every way… Chubbs, 18 inches, small teeth, in a different room.  Be careful of the misinformation and propaganda. 

To follow our battles, please visit us at https://neilrockind.wordpress.com/, my personal blog, http://neilrockindpcblog.com , our firm’s blog or http://michiganmedicalmarijuanalawyers.com/.  To arrange for Neil Rockind to speak to the public, i.e., to book Neil Rockind for a speaking engagement, please take a look at our attached Press Kit and get with us.