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DOT Guidelines on Medical Marijuana

Although there are strong voices on either side of the argument for and against medical marijuana, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has made it very clear that safety-sensitive transportation employees—pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, ship captains, and subways operators, among others—are not allowed to test positive for marijuana while it remains listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Even if your transportation company is based in a state that has legalized medical marijuana, as long as you and your employees are under the authority of the DOT it’s important that you follow federal medical marijuana guidelines for safety-sensitive transportation providers.

The DOT’s Drug and Alcohol Regulation

Despite the Department of Justice issuing guidelines for Federal prosecutors in states that have enacted laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana, the Department of Transportation will continue to prohibit the use of marijuana, legal or illegal, by any safety-sensitive transportation employee. The DOT does currently authorize medical marijuana to be a valid medical explanation for an employee’s positive drug test.

DOT-Compliant Drug Testing

Safety-sensitive employees are subject to drug and alcohol testing at various points of employment and in numerous situations, including pre-employment, post-accident, and with reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use. Employees who test positive for marijuana or any other prohibited substance will be removed from their DOT-regulated functions and not allowed to return to work until they have undergone an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional, successfully completed counseling or treatment prescribed to them, and provide a negative test result for drugs and alcohol.

Adhering to DOT Drug Testing Rules

Compliance with DOT drug and alcohol testing is important for your bottom line and also important for the health and safety of your drivers and everyone else on the road. Fortunately, adhering to DOT testing policies is easy when you trust HDS Safety & Compliance for all your safety-sensitive employee testing needs. HDS also provides DOT compliance consulting to help you avoid any trouble with the Department of Transportation for anything you can help.