Don’t expect any changes. Marijuana may have become legal as a “recreational” drug in some states, but the Department of Transportation (DOT) reminds everyone that smoking dope or weed or whatever you want to call it, is illegal and against federal law.

Those who were worried, don’t have to worry about their pilot, flight attendants or mechanics having a few tokes before the flight. If they get caught they get grounded.

DOT OFFICE OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY AND COMPLIANCE NOTICE

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

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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

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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” 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
Director
Office of the Secretary of Transportation
Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance
Department of Transportation
December 3, 2012

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