Medical Marijuana and the DOT Mandated Employee – SAP Referral Services

Did you recently fail a drug test due to marijuana and now have to undergo a DOT SAP evaluation? A JAMA study estimates that medical marijuana is used by about 1-2% of the adult population in the United States. Its use, however, can vary from state to state, as only 37 states and the District of Columbia allow its use as of February of 2022. Medical marijuana use is when a medical doctor prescribes marijuana to treat an allowed health condition. Permissible conditions vary throughout the US, often including anxiety, PTSD, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and seizures. The differing state laws can complicate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace. Especially within the transportation industries where a failed drug test will result in a mandatory removal from safety-sensitive functions.

What are Marijuana Positivity Rates Since the Legalization of Medical Marijuana?

It is clear that allowing the use of medical marijuana in some states has directly impacted marijuana positivity rates. In states where legal medicinal use is allowed, positivity rates have jumped by 68%. Interestingly, an increase in positives has also occurred in states without medical marijuana laws following the acceptance in neighboring states. States without laws have also seen a 58% increase in marijuana positivity rates.

Are DOT-Mandated Employees Allowed to Use Medical Marijuana?

One reason for the increase in use is that some employees may believe that a medical marijuana license excludes them from punishment within the workplace. Depending on where you work, however, this may not be true. While the Department of Transportation has acknowledged the new challenges of changing state laws, it has made it very clear that all DOT-mandated employees are not allowed to use medical marijuana. Marijuana is not allowed to be used under any circumstances, and a failed test will lead to the removal of an employee from the workplace until they undergo a DOT SAP evaluation and complete the return to duty process.

Failed a Drug Test? It’s Time for a DOT SAP Evaluation

Unfortunately, a prescription for medical marijuana will not result in an excused positive drug test if you are a DOT-mandated safety employee. This is defined as anyone who works within the transportation industry and performs safety-sensitive functions. If you fail a drug test and need to get a DOT SAP evaluation, contact SAP Referral Services today. We will schedule you with a qualified SAP in your area and get you started on the return-to-duty process.


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