Florida teacher with PTSD could lose job over medical marijuana use

Florida

BELLEVIEW, Fla. (WESH)— A teacher in Marion County is in a battle to save his job because he uses medical marijuana as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The teacher is so highly regarded he was recently promoted to a dean at Belleview High School. But before his life as teacher, Michael Hickman was a Marine who served in Desert Storm.

Hickman’s attorney said his client suffers from PTSD and was “prescribed medical marijuana by a licensed physician according to the laws of the state of Florida.”

Many are wondering why it matters, but the school board said it matters because Hickman recently tested positive for marijuana after being required to take a drug test. He’d been injured breaking up a fight and the drug test was required as part of a worker’s compensation case.

School officials said taking medical marijuana is legal according to state law, but not legal according to federal law. The Marion County school system get millions of dollars in grants from the federal government. The grants directly fund student programs and programs that support students.

The teacher has, for now, been suspended without pay.

Hickman is continuing to fight for his job. He’s got another hearing coming up and he’s hired an attorney.

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