Medical Marijuana: a problem for State employees in Marion County

Michael Hickman, 50 a decorated war hero of the U.S. Marine Corps, was fired from his job as a Belleview High School dean for failing a drug test in January.

In 1991 Hickman fell 13 feet from an amphibious vehicle in mid-combat. In addition to suffering post-traumatic stress, he severe injuries and underwent 24 surgeries for the damage to his body. For his pain he was initially treated with opioids, he now takes two medical marijuana pills each night.

In November Hickman broke up a small fight at the school and sustained minor damage to his arm. The principle insisted on a routine medical evaluation after which, he failed a drug test.

Because of the schools zero tolerance policy, Hickman was fired. Hickman appealed and the hearing took place on Wednesday. Because the state of Florida legalized medical marijuana use in 2016 but it still remains federally illegal. The school board fearing a loss of Federal funding felt it had to fire Hickman. 

Under oath head of district employee relations, Jaycee Oliver said, “If we do not comply with all federal laws … we are in danger of losing our funding.” Oliver later said she doesn’t know of any specific examples where federal funding has actually been rescinded from school districts on those grounds. 

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