A complaint was filed against a teacher by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC), requesting that sanctions be imposed against her teaching certificate due to her use of marijuana. The teacher requested a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) to determine if sanctions were appropriate.

At the hearing, the teacher introduced evidence to show that she had been employed as a teacher from 2008 to 2015, with no allegations of misconduct against her. On Feb. 20, 2015, at the request of the district, she voluntarily submitted to a breath, urine and hair screen for drug use. The results of the breath and urine tests were negative, but the hair test indicated that she had consumed marijuana up to six months in the past. There was no evidence to show that she was under the influence of marijuana or any other intoxicant while at school or at a school-related activity. The teacher admitted that she had consumed an edible product containing marijuana during Christmas break, while on vacation in Colorado. She resigned effective at the end of the school year and a complaint was filed against her with the SBEC for drug use.

After considering the evidence presented at the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge concluded that sanctions were not appropriate and recommended that the complaint be dismissed. In doing so, the judge pointed out that consumption of marijuana is legal in Colorado. Possession of a usable of quantity of marijuana is a criminal offense in Texas, but so is gambling. A teacher would not be subject to sanctions in Texas for gambling in Nevada. Similarly, a teacher should not be sanctioned for legal consumption of marijuana in Colorado.

This decision will not be final until it is considered and adopted by the SBEC board.