DOT OFFICE OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY AND
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,
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.
Therefore, Medical Review Officers (MROs) will not
verify a drug test as negative based upon learning that the employee used
“recreational marijuana” when states have passed “recreational marijuana”
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”
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
Department of Transportation
December 3, 2012