Texas Judge: Teachers Shouldn’t Be Punished for Consuming Marijuana

Texas Judge: Teachers Shouldn't Be Punished for Consuming Marijuana - Weed Finder® NewsA Texas administrative law judge recently recommended that no disciplinary action be taken against a public school teacher who admitted eating a marijuana edible while visiting Colorado over Christmas vacation. In a January 10 decision that was published last Friday by the Austin American-Statesman, Judge William Newchurch likens the teacher’s cannabis consumption to gambling in Las Vegas. “Possession of a usable quantity of marijuana is a criminal offense in Texas—but so is gambling,” Newchurch writes. “The ALJ [administrative law judge] would not recommend that the Board [for Educator Certification] find a teacher unworthy to instruct in Texas because she legally gambled in Nevada. Similarly, he does not recommend that the Board find Respondent unworthy to instruct because she legally consumed marijuana in Colorado.”

The case involves Maryam Roland, a science teacher at El Paso’s Parkland High School who in February 2015 supposedly was implicated as a drug user by a former school district bookkeeper named Olaya Calanehe. I say “supposedly” because the email from Calanehe listing Roland’s name said nothing about drug use, which she had mentioned in an earlier email that named other employees, and there was no record of an alleged phone call from Calanehe that may have been more specific. Roland described Calanehe as a disgruntled former employee, while Newchurch said her first email “suggested that Ms. Calanche was paranoid and delusional, because she stated she was scared for her life and referred to the devil and demons.”

Craig Lahrman, director of secondary personnel for the Ysleta Independent School District, nevertheless grilled Roland, who had worked as a teacher for eight years without any allegations of misconduct, about her drug use, which is how her admission of consuming an edible in Colorado came out. She said she otherwise had not used marijuana since college. A urine test found no evidence of marijuana use, but traces were found in her hair. That result was consistent with her account, since hair tests can detect marijuana use for up to six months. Roland said she had never used marijuana during work hours, on school property, or at school functions, which is specifically prohibited by district policy, and there was no evidence to contradict that.



(Texas Judge: Teachers Shouldn’t Be Punished for Consuming Marijuana – Weed Finder® News  |  Article Credit: Reason.com)