Urine drug testing and commerical drivers

Recreational marijuana and your drug test

The 2012 US Presidential election failed to bring in a new President but did bring in some new laws, of which a few are highly controversial.  Several states brought in changes or planed changes to existing marijuana laws.  The legal recreational use of marijuana has now become a reality in a couple of states, and a hot topic in a few others.  As the dust is now settling many in the trucking community  are asking about the implications of recreational marijuana use and the DOT, specifically how will it impact Drug Testing.

With Colorado and Washington being the first states to legalize recreational marijuana

Recreational Marijuana Use and the DOT

The DOT today confirms it’s stance regarding marijuana use

use the Department of Transportation’s Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance today issued the following notice.  It is confirms the long standing stance on the use of marijuana.  Persons who test positive for marijuana along with any other controlled substance listed on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act will have failed their Drug test, period, therefore it remains as it always was, no changes.

I am sure there will be much more talk about recreational marijuana and the DOT in the future as Governments battle out the legality of it all.  Until then, truckers beware, it might be legal in Colorado or Washington to use recreational marijuana but if you fail your Drug Test because of it, you failed your Drug Test.


Recently, some states passed initiatives to permit use of marijuana for so-called “recreational” purposes.

We have had several inquiries about whether these state initiatives will have an impact upon the Department of Transportation’s longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safety‐sensitive transportation employees – 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 Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program. The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation – 49 CFR Part 40 – does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.

English: U.S. states are shown in green where ...

English: U.S. states are shown in green where non-medical marihuana has been decriminalized at the state level. Note that marijuana of any kind is still criminalized under U.S. federal law throughout the entire U.S. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Therefore, Medical Review Offi

cers (MROs) will not verify a drug test as negative based upon learning that the employee used “recreational marijuana” when states have passed “recreational marijuana” initiatives.

We also firmly reiterate that an MRO will not verify a drug test negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use “medical marijuana” when states have passed “medical marijuana” initiatives.

It is important to note that marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances 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.

 We want to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be.

Jim L. Swart


Office of the Secretary of Transportation

Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance

Department of Transportation

December 3, 2012

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