Illinois man fighting cancer said he was suspended from job because he uses medical marijuana

SPARTA, Ill. - A man who is fighting cancer said he has been suspended from his job at Spartan Light Metal Products because he is prescribed medical marijuana and failed a drug test.

Craig Miller said he has a cannabis card and takes his medical marijuana as prescribed. He said it helps with his chronic pain and loss of appetite from the medications he takes.

"I kept hearing the whole time: do whatever it takes to get better and then when I do they haven't even talked to me," Miller said, speaking about his employer. He said he works at the shop based in Sparta, Illinois.

Miller, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, said he never takes his medicine right before work or while at work.

Fox 2 News spoke to Daniel Katzman, a Belleville-based attorney who doesn't represent Miller, but said situations like his are unfair. Katzman said several Illinois state laws conflict each other and can create a lot of gray space.

Miller said his employer gave him a letter asking him to have his doctor fill out a survey that would provide more insight on Miller's need for the medicine. Miller said his doctor wouldn't fill out the form but instead sent a letter to the employer that said, in part, "his patient has been educated on the medication effects and when to take it."

Miller said prior to being prescribed medical marijuana he was prescribed Dronabinol, a man-made form of cannabis that routinely showed up on his drug screenings at work. He said it was not a big deal because his employer had his prescription for it on file.

Fox 2 News reached out to Spartan Light Metal Products and the company released this statement:

While it is our policy not to publicly discuss employee issues in order to protect the privacy of all of those involved, it is our practice to act at all times in a way that is consistent with our goal of providing a safe work environment for all of our employees. We are confident that our policies and actions are appropriate and consistent with those values.

Thank you,
Raymond J. Turek
Vice President Human Resources

Miller said he's filed an official complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. In the meantime, he's established a GoFundMe account to help cover expenses in the short-term until his situation becomes clear.