Texas Teacher Shouldn’t Be Punished for Marijuana Use in Colorado, Judge Says

Article by Christine Houser, New York Times

Texas Teacher Shouldn’t Be Punished for Marijuana Use in Colorado, Judge Says

A Texas high school teacher can use marijuana in Colorado, where it is legal, and should not get into trouble for it in her home state, where it is illegal, an administrative law judge ruled.

The Texas judge made the recommendation in a case involving Maryam Roland, who had taught science at Parkland High School in El Paso, Tex., and who told school district officials that she had ingested an edible marijuana product during Christmas break in Colorado in 2014-15.

The ruling was sought by the Texas Education Agency, which asked the State Office of Administrative Hearings to look into the case. The education agency had sought to suspend Ms. Roland’s license for two years after she tested positive for marijuana two years ago. She resigned in February 2015, but a suspension would have affected any effort to return to teaching, the documents showed.

But William G. Newchurch, the administrative law judge at the administrative hearings office, said that punishing Ms. Roland, 39, would be like taking action against someone who had gambled at a casino in Nevada and then returned to Texas, where gambling is illegal.

Judge Newchurch said he did not find Ms. Roland “unworthy to instruct,” and he recommended that the education agency, which oversees primary and secondary public education in the state, take no action against her teaching certificate.

Read full article here.

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