DOT Issues Compliance Notice for Recreational Marijuana Use

The DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance issued a statement in response to inquiries about whether state initiatives to permit the use of marijuana for recreational purposes will impact the DOT’s regulations applicable to safety-sensitive transportation employees regarding marijuana. 

The notice explicitly confirmed that the recent 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.” 

The notice also states that Medial Review Officers (MROs) will not verify a drug test as negative for employees who have used “recreational marijuana” in states that have passed the initiatives.  Although marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I drug, Colorado and Washington recently passed referendums legalizing marijuana for recreational use.


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