Judge: Texas teacher shouldn't be disciplined for using marijuana in Colorado

Posted at 3:47 PM, Jan 27, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas – A teacher who legally got high while vacationing in Colorado shouldn’t have her license suspended, a Texas judge wrote in an opinion issued earlier this month.

The Austin American-Statesman reports Maryam Roland consumed an edible marijuana product while visiting Colorado over Christmas break in 2014. In Feb. 2015, after a “disgruntled” employee named her in an email, officials asked Roland to submit to breath, hair and urine testing.

Only the hair test came back positive, the American-Statesman reports.

Hair testing can show use of marijuana going back months and isn’t a good indicator of recent use, the judge’s opinion states. In addition, there was no reason to believe Roland was ever under the influence at work.

The judge thereby concludes Roland didn’t violate any laws or school district policies.

Marijuana use was legal in Colorado when Roland visited in 2015. Voters approved Amendment 64 in Nov. 2012. Marijuana use remains illegal in Texas.

In the past, judges have sided with employers who discipline employees for legal marijuana use. In 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed a lower court’s decision to uphold the firing of an employee who used medical marijuana while off-duty. Employers generally argue that because marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, they can retain policies that forbid its use.

The opinion by Administrative Law Judge William Newchurch is simply advisory and the state’s licensing agency has the authority to make a decision in the case, the American-Statesman reports.


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