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No Dope, Says DOT

Oct. 28, 2009
Relaxed enforcement on “medical marijuana” won't change Department of Transportation drug testing

When the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidelines for Federal prosecutors in states that have enacted laws authorizing the use of “medical marijuana” the US Department of Transportation received inquires about the use of marijuana by transportation workers.

“We want to make it perfectly clear that the DOJ guidelines will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program,” said a DOT statement. “We will not change our regulated drug testing program based upon these guidelines to Federal prosecutors. The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation – 49 CFR Part 40, at 40.151(e) – does not authorize “medical marijuana” under a state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee’s positive drug test result.”

“Please 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,” said Jim L. Swart, director of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance.

Safety‐sensitive transportation 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.

Department of Justice guidelines to prosecutors

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