The US Department of Transportation has just announced that despite any state regulations that have been put in place, marijuana use, regardless of whether it’s medicinal or recreational, is still strictly prohibited. So even if a driver is currently in Colorado or Washington, the two states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana, if they’re caught in possession, or under the influence, they will still be prosecuted.
Director of the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance for the USDOT, Jim Swart, issued a notice on Monday, December 3rd stating in no uncertain terms that “marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act” and that “[the DOT] does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs… for any reason.” It is therefore still illegal, regardless of what state law might say.
This notice was released just before Representative Reid Ribble of Wisconsin proposed a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would require the USDOT to make hair drug testing federally mandated, replacing the more common urine screening. Hair testing is much more difficult to tamper with and can detect drug use over the past several months while urine testing can only be used to show drug use from the past few days.
Some companies already use hair testing in addition to urine testing. C.R. England adopted hair testing after they ran a pilot program which found that drug tests were three times more likely to come back positive when hair testing was used. Other companies that have adopted hair testing include Schneider, J.B. Hunt, Gordon Trucking, and Roehl Transport.
Swart closed his DOT notice with a message to the public; “We want to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be.”
Sources: thetrucker, etrucker, overdriveonline
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