DOT Responds to Recently Passed Marijuana Laws

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued a Notice clarifying that state initiatives have no bearing on the DOT regulated drug testing program.

This notice emphasized that “marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act” and that it “remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the [DOT’s] drug testing regulations to use marijuana.”

A recent article by Littler Mendelson, a leading employment and labor law firm, highlights that state legislation has no effect on federal law, including DOT required drug testing of applicants and employees in safety-sensitive transportation positions such as pilots, truck drivers, train engineers, ship captains, school bus drivers, and pipeline emergency response personnel.

They state that a medical review officer (MRO) may not report a confirmed positive test for marijuana as verified negative based on a physician’s recommendation that the test subject use marijuana.

According to Littler, “the bottom line is that applicants for and employees in safety-sensitive transportation positions will not be allowed to explain away a confirmed positive test for marijuana based on recreational or medical use purportedly authorized by state law.”

Learn more about the DOT’s position on recently passed “recreational marijuana” and “medical marijuana” laws by reading: DOT Reiterates that Marijuana Use by Safety-Sensitive Transportation Employees Is Not Authorized, Regardless of Recent Passage of State Recreational Marijuana Use Laws

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