(CNN) — A Florida teacher is in a battle to save his job because he uses medical marijuana as a treatment for post traumatic stress disorder.

The teacher is so highly regarded he was  recently promoted as a dean at Belleview High School.  

But before his life as teacher, Michael Hickman was a marine, a combat veteran who served in Desert Storm.

Because he suffers from PTSD, he was prescribed medical marijuana by a licensed physician.   

It mattered to the school board when the Hickman recently  tested positive for marijuana.

The teacher broke up a fight at the school recently and was injured.

“And I guess this particular employee jumped in to break up the students and was injured in the process hence the workman’s comp case hence the mandatory drug testing,” said Kevin Christian with Marion County Schools. 

Hence the problem — school officials say taking medical marijuana is legal according to state law,  but not legal according to federal law.

The Marion County School System gets millions of dollars in grants from the federal government.  

“That directly funds students. Student programs, programs that support students, you name it,” Christian said. 

For now the Belleview High School teacher has been suspended without pay.  

Parents we talked to don’t understand.

“I may not be in favor of the marijuana issue, but if it helps him, if he’s a good teacher and he’s doing a good job I’m all in favor,” one parent said.