Medical marijuana leaving some people in a fight for their job, health

Using medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but it’s not welcomed by all employers. It’s leaving some people in a fight for their job or their health.

Allison Enright was fired by a Florida school district for medical marijuana use. She says medical marijuana changed her life for better and for worse. She took a doctor’s advice and stopped using opioids to help her cope with fibromyalgia and other issues.

“Since that time, not only do I walk unassisted, I run, I work out, I have energy, I have my personality back,’ Enright said.

That allowed her to go back to work as a teacher at Space Coast Junior-Senior High School. That was the better.

Here’s the worse: Two months ago, a student knocked her down. She filed for worker’s compensation, which meant she had to take a drug test.

“I reported to workman’s comp that I would test positive for THC because I am on a U.S. medical marijuana,” Enright said.

The school board in Brevard County decided to fire Enright.

Like local school districts, Brevard decided her use of medical marijuana violated the district’s drug-free policy and federal law.

And that could threaten federal funding.

“I felt like a criminal,” Enright said. “I felt like I had done something wrong for just trying to become healthy.”

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the state to protect people like Enright.

“And those are people who are using it for a better quality of life and to get off of other pharmaceutical drugs,” Fried said.

An employment expert told us companies have the right to determine their own work rules.

“If they have a drug-free workplace policy in place, then, it’s going to be hard for them to not pick and choose who they’re going to fire, who they’re not going to fire,” said Scott Atwood, and employment lawyer at Hendeson Franklin.

Enright said she will continue to fight to get her job back.

In the last week, we’ve asked you for your thoughts on medical marijuana and the workplace.

If you’d like to join the conversation, it’s on the WINK News Facebook page.

Reporter:Gail Levy
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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