With that statement, the DOT affirmed that federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana among certain workers have not changed. The department said use of either recreational or medical marijuana is prohibited among covered employees.
The DOT's 'notice' comes in response to recently passed state initiatives legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. The department said it has received questions about whether the initiatives will impact the DOT's 'longstanding regulation' about marijuana use by safety-sensitive transportation employees.
Safety-sensitive employees include 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.
"We want to make it perfectly clear that the state initiatives will have no bearing on the DOT's regulated drug testing program," the notice says. "The DOT's Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation -- 49 CFR Part 40 -- does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason."
Medical Review Officers will not be permitted to verify a drug test as negative just because the employee used recreational marijuana in a state that allows it. The notice also addresses medical marijuana.
"We also firmly reiterate that an MRO will not verify a drug test as negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use 'medical marijuana' when states have passed 'medical marijuana' initiatives."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
January 7, 2013
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