New DOJ Rules on Medical Marijuana Don't Apply to Truckers

October 29, 2009

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New Department of Justice guidelines for federal prosecutors in states that allow the use of medical marijuana do not trump the Department of Transportation's longstanding rules on the use of the drug by safety-sensitive transportation employees
, including truck drivers.

According to a recent DOT compliance notice, the agency said it would not be changing its regulated drug testing program based upon these new guidelines, and that transportation employees are still prohibited from the use of marijuana, medical or not.

Under the agency's Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation, 49 CFR Part 40, at 40.151(e), a transportation employee must test negative for controlled substances. "It remains unacceptable for any safety‐sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation's drug testing regulations to use marijuana," the rule says.

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