The use of medical cannabis, when legal under state law, should not be a fireable offense when there is no impairment on the job. Full stop. It’s maddening to see record-breaking support for cannabis legalization and yet the cannabis community still treated as second class citizens when it comes to employment, and a whole host of other issues. It is even more infuriating when medical cannabis patients that served our nation in the military fired without any proof that cannabis impaired them on the job whatsoever.
The case of Mike Hickman, a Florida marine vet and state-legal patient who fought in Iraq during Gulf Storm 30 years ago, is just the latest outrage. The Marion County School Board fired Hickman, a dean at the school, when he tested positive for cannabis after he was injured breaking up a fight at the school as the Orlando Sentinel reported:
The central Florida district offered to suspend Hickman, 51, if he agreed not to use medical marijuana in the future, but the 10-year employee refused. After an administrative judge upheld a previous superintendent’s recommendation that he be fired, the board acted.
Hickman’s attorney, Mark Herdman, told the Ocala Star-Banner, “It is just another unfortunate decision handed down by the Marion County School Board to fire yet another good employee.” Hickman argued it was unfair that he legally could have kept using the opioid painkiller he took before switching to marijuana because it was more effective and has fewer side effects.
Chris Altobello, an executive director with the Marion County teachers union, told the paper in a text message that Hickman “was no more impaired than someone who took an aspirin for a headache. They implied that this is tantamount to smoking pot in the boys bathroom!”
It’s getting real tiresome hearing about the inevitability of ending cannabis prohibition AND how our nation honors military veterans and then learning about too many stories of vets getting punished for utilizing medicinal cannabis. Are we really honoring and respecting our military veterans when we push them to use alcohol and opiates, while penalizing them for using medical cannabis? Stories like this inspire me to work even harder for true freedom and equality for the cannabis community. Especially our veterans.
Kind Leaf, Eastern Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique always honors veterans with a standing discount. There are also discounts for senior citizens, OMMP patients, and for utilizing the pickup window.