A Texas administrative judge has ruled that an El Paso science teacher will not have her teaching license suspended after she returned to the state from Colorado where she ingested marijuana while vacationing. Texas attorney Jim Pikl has a problem with that. “Use of marijuana is illegal all over the country under federal law,” he says defiantly. He does not think teacher Maryam Roland should be in a classroom. Jamie Spencer, legal counsel for Texas NORML, an advocacy group that supports the legalization of marijuana, says states that do not have legal medical marijuana are vulnerable. “Texans are at the greatest risk of doing this. However this is an encouraging ruling by this administrative law judge,” he says.
“When she went to Colorado to use marijuana she violated federal law,” Pikl argues. The Texas Education Agency had suspended the license of the teacher after she tested positive to marijuana use in a random test two years ago. Judge William Newchurch compared taking action to someone going to Las Vegas to gamble, a perspective Jamie Spencer agrees with. “It’s absolutely illegal in Texas but there’s no legal basis for saying that a teacher or any other type of an employee can’t go to Nevada, gamble legally, even come back with the winnings if they’re lucky enough to win.”