Should smoking marijuana get you fired as a teacher?
Should ex-teacher Roger Payne have lost his job? What happened to Mr. Payne is that he befriended a former student who is now an adult. That ex-student's brother broke into the ex-teacher's house and stole a sum of money and some marijuana. Mr Payne (a teacher in a Wauwatosa high school) admits he smoked marijuana but from all indications he is, or at least was, a good teacher. He had been a good teacher for 25 years. He did not smoke at the school, did not advocate students smoke marijuana and the smoking did not interfere with his teaching. But he was fired for using marijuana anyway.
But this great or at least good teacher lost his job for doing an action that harmed no one, except possibly himself. He lost his job for doing something that is clearly less harmful then drinking alcohol, which is something of course that our state is known.
Smoking marijuana isn't the smartest possible thing you can do but is it less harmful then say, skydiving? Less harmful than even driving in a car? Many, many more people die in car accidents then smoking marijuana. The fact is, the main reason not to smoke marijuana isn't the physical harm from the drug (which there is some) but the illogical harsh penalties that our nation and society will impose on someone who does it. Michael Phelps (the Olympic swimming champion) for example losing sponsorships for a picture of him smoking a marijuana bong at a party.
If the idea is that Mr. Payne should be a good role model to his students I must ask, did his students know of this marijuana use beforehand? No, they only learned of it because of our society making it illegal in the first place. Let's go after real criminals not those who commit crimes because we don't like the way they get intoxicated as we drink our beer. After all, I know of no marijuana smokers who want to ban our Miller.
This is why organizatioins such as NORML and DRCnet are around. To get sensible drug laws. Addiction to drugs is a medical problem and if someone is addicted then the focus should be on rehabiliation, not putting them away in prison.