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West Palm Beach fires city employee over legal medical marijuana use

Marijuana Docs
(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

The city of West Palm Beach fired a top information technology manager for smoking marijuana even though it was authorized by his doctor to use legally for medical reasons.

Jason McCarty, WPB deputy chief of information technology, was fired after a urine test found marijuana in his system — something he told them before the test that they would find.

McCarty, 50, has a medical marijuana card that allows him to legally purchase pot from a dispensary and says he smoked a joint the night before he was spot tested to relieve anxiety and insomnia caused by his mother’s serious illness, according to the Palm Beach Post.

McCarty was ordered to take a test after being reported by two employees who said they suspected him of acting “suspicious.”

McCarty denies smoking pot at work. He had held his job for five years and had a spotless record, but the city has a strict policy against marijuana use, even when used legally and outside working hours. Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a measure legalizing medical marijuana in 2016.

Five other co-workers submitted affidavits saying they had never seen McCarty under the influence, including the day he was reported.

“IMcCarty has not decided whether he will sue the city.