Last month, voters in Colorado and Washington state approved meaures that permits the use "recreational" marijuana. A representative of the U.S. Department of Transportation said.
But the new state laws contradict federal law, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Jim Swart, director of the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, said DOT's Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, 49 CFR Part 40, does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs for any reason and that marijuana use remains unacceptable for any safety‐sensitive employee, such as school bus drivers, who are subject to the drug testing regulations.
"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," said Jim Swart, director of the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance. "
He added that Medical Review Officers (MROs) will neither verify a drug test as negative based upon learning that the employee used recreational marijuana based on states passing such initiatives nor when a physician prescribes or recommends that an employee use medical marijuana when approved by states.
"We want to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be," Swart concluded.
Federal rules require that all CDL holders who test positive for drugs or alcohol undergo an evaluation by a substance abuse professional.
In related news,Today, FMCSA announced that the first National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners certification test will be given on Dec. 17 at 260 test centers nationwide.