School board fires Florida teacher for medical marijuana use

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FILE - In this March 22, 2019 file photo, shows marijuana buds being sorted into a prescription jar at Compassionate Care Foundation's medical marijuana dispensary in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Voters in four states could embrace broad legal marijuana sales on Election Day, setting the stage for a watershed year for the industry that could snowball into neighboring states as well as reshape policy on Capitol Hill. The Nov. 3, 2020, contests will take place in markedly different regions of the country, New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota and Montana and approval of the proposals would highlight how public acceptance of cannabis is cutting across geography, demographics and the nation's deep political divide. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A Florida teacher has been fired for using medical marijuana.

The Brevard County School Board voted 3-2 on Tuesday to terminate Allison Enright from her position at Space Coast Junior/Senior High School, Florida Today reported. Brevard County is located on Florida's Atlantic Coast, east of Orlando.

Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but federal regulations continue to categorize cannabis as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, like heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

The school district must be a drug-free workplace to receive certain federal grants, and that means the district can’t allow teachers to use marijuana, School Board General Counsel Paul Gibbs said.

The school district adopted a policy in 2019 allowing students to use medical marijuana, but the policy didn't address teachers. Enright disclosed her medical marijuana use when she took a drug test after an injury at work. She said she didn't realize that her medication violated the district’s policy, which says teachers can’t use “illegal drugs” without specifically mentioning marijuana prescribed by a doctor.

“I want to make it clear: I don’t do drugs,” Enright said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I don’t smoke pot. I don’t get high.”

Enright said she takes a pill containing THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, twice a day. Before taking medical marijuana, she said she took opioids for several health conditions causing pain and weakness.

All board members expressed regret at having to discuss Enright's termination, but the majority ultimately upheld the school district’s recommendation to fire her.

Board Chair Misty Belford, who voted in favor of termination, said she would like to see the policy updated to prevent a similar situation from happening again.