Colorado Allows Recreational Marijuana But DOT Rules Still Apply

February 2014, Vol. 69 No. 2

Starting Jan. 1, residents of Colorado are allowed to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use, and visitor are limited to a quarter of an ounce.

However, all buyers must be over 21 years of age and the purchased product cannot be transported across state lines.

As a reminder, in December 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) stated the state initiatives will have no bearing on the DOT’s regulated drug testing program. The DOT’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation does not authorize the use of Schedule 1 drugs, including marijuana, for any reason. Therefore, Medical Review Officers will not verify a drug test as negative based upon learning that the employee used “recreational marijuana” when state have passed “recreational marijuana” initiatives. The same is true for use of medical marijuana.

Marijuana remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to pipeline drug testing under the DOT’s drug testing regulations.