The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have made their stand clear on recreational marijuana initiatives that were approved in Washington and Colorado.
In a statement, SAMHSA said “there have been no changes to the panel of drugs being tested under the federal Drug-Free Workplace Program (DFWP).” That means, federal employees will continue to undergo marijuana test at the established cut off levels in the Mandatory Guidelines.
DOT, in its Dec. 3 notice, states the ballot initiatives “will have no bearing on the Department of Transportationâ€™s regulated drug testing program.” The agency will continue to require drug testing applicants and employees in safety-sensitive positions, such as pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit fireâ€armed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.
“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 â€œmedical marijuanaâ€ when states have passed â€œmedical marijuanaâ€ initiatives,” DOT said in its recreational marijuana notice. “It is important to note that marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It remains unacceptable for any safetyâ€sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportationâ€™s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.”