Legal or not, marijuana use is not allowed for truckers

January 22, 2018

Mark Schremmer


Eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. More than 20 other states have legalized the use of medical marijuana.

So does this mean that commercial motor vehicle drivers can partake?

The answer is pretty straightforward.


“Marijuana, including a mixture or preparation containing marijuana, continues to be classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration,” the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration answered in October on the FAQs section of its website. “Under the FMCSA regulations, a person is not physically qualified to drive a CMV if he or she uses any Schedule I controlled substance, such as marijuana.
“In addition to the physical qualification requirements, the (regulations) prohibit a driver from being in possession of or under the influence of any Schedule I controlled substance, including marijuana, while on duty, and prohibit motor carriers from permitting a driver to be on duty if he or she possesses, is under the influence of, or uses a Schedule I controlled substance.

Legalization of marijuana use by states and other jurisdictions also has not modified the application of U.S. Department of Transportation drug testing regulations.”

As more states continue to legalize marijuana each year, the DOT has reiterated that the substance is not allowed to drivers of commercial motor vehicles.

“It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the DOT’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana,” the DOT wrote in a drug and alcohol police compliance notice from 2012.

The DOT also makes it clear that even marijuana used for medical reasons is not authorized.

“Medical Review Officers will not verify a drug test as negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use medical marijuana,” the DOT wrote in a notice updated in October.