As more and more states enact laws authorizing the use of medical and recreational marijuana, it is increasingly important for employers to stay informed. We have had several inquires about whether the Department of Transportation would change its longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safety-sensitive transportation employees. The Department of Transportation’s regulations impact pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit fire-armed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.
The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations – 49 CFR Part 40 at 40.151(e) – does not authorize “medical marijuana” under state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee’s positive drug test result.
“40.151 (e) – You must not verify a test negative based on information that a physician recommended that the employee use a drug listed in schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. (e.g., under a state law that purports to authorize such recommendations, such as the “medical marijuana” laws that some states have adopted.) “
Marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act. It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.
The purpose of these regulations is to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be. It continues to be important to educate all of your safety-sensitive employees on the regulations and ensure that you are operating safely.
If you would like our help or are interested in talking to us, then contact us. We have been helping companies promote safety for over 38 years!