Oregon TV anchor: Pot got me fired (video)


Eugene TV anchor fired for pot, is now an activist for it
Former Eugene TV anchor, reporter and producer, Cyd Maurer,, posted this video on her website after she was fired from KEZI.,AAAAPLpuSqE~,a1DdoZJH5WQo4iWaJj1w_CktvJfhQVVG

The morning weekend anchor at Eugene's ABC affiliate says she was fired in late May after testing positive for marijuana.

Cyd Maurer, 25, a University of Oregon graduate, said she got into a minor fender-bender while on assignment for KEZI on May 22 and was ordered, per corporate policy, to undergo a drug test.

Maurer said she disclosed her recreational cannabis use to her immediate supervisor, an assistant news director. She said she had consumed cannabis within one week of the accident, but was not under the influence when she went to work.

The tests came back positive for marijuana. She said Mike Boring, KEZI's general manager, fired her on May 27.

"I just sat there silently, humiliated," said Maurer, who is from Salem. "I have never been fired."

Boring did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Marijuana is legal in Oregon, but the new law doesn't affect the ability of employers to establish drug-free policies. Mike McClory, a labor and employment lawyer in Portland, said while the new law makes it legal for Oregonians 21 and older to consume, they can still be fired for doing it.

"From a criminal standpoint, they won't face any charges," he said. "I think you will see some folks who are have been focused more on that and have been less focused on its potential impact on the workplace. "

Maurer has gone public with her experience. On Thursday, she posted a YouTube video titled "How I went from local news anchor to marijuana activist."

"I wasn't fired because I couldn't do my job," she said. "I wasn't fired because of my work ethic, my attitude, or my abilities. I was fired for enjoying a plant, on my own time, in the privacy of my own home. A plant that the majority of voters in Oregon believe should be legal."

Maurer said she has been a marijuana consumer for about five years and uses the drug on a "semi-regular" basis.

She said she never went to work under the influence of cannabis and even stopped consuming for several months because of KEZI's drug policy.

She said she decided to resume consuming marijuana after the November passage of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization law. She said she grew tired of hiding her cannabis use. It became legal to possess marijuana on July 1.

Since her termination, she's told her parents, in-laws and friends about what happened. All have been supportive.

"The vast majority of people who meet me would never in their wildest dreams assume I use marijuana," she says in her video. "But I do. And I'm tired of hiding it – and in fact, now I want people to take notice."

Anchoring the KEZI newscast was the kind of job she dreamed of when she studied journalism at UO. Now she hopes to get into the marijuana industry.

"There is nothing to be ashamed about," she said. "I just really believe I am doing the right thing. I hope it leads me to a fulfilling career."

-- Noelle Crombie

@noellecrombie; 503-276-7184