In order to operate a vehicle over 26,000 pounds, there is a federal requirement to pass drug tests and the Department of Transportation is clear about it: Truckers cannot smoke marijuana at the wheel, even if they have a medical prescription. However, next February, a new law enacted by Maine´s Department of Labor that contradicts this rule will come into force. The law states that if an employer fires a worker for testing positive for marijuana, the employee may sue the company alleging discrimination. A lawsuit could also be filed if a candidate for a job is rejected because of a drug test.
Does this mean that truckers who test positive for drugs can keep their job and their commercial driver’s license? No. Experts warn that despite Maine’s new regulation, the employer must fire the trucker who uses marijuana, even if it is by medical prescription, in order to follow the regulation of DOT.
In addition to the 29 states where medical marijuana is legal, 9 states (Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Massachusetts and California) allow recreational use is also legal and in some Californian cities, such as San Francisco, they are preventing drug tests. However, the transportation authorities insist that marijuana legalization does not include driving a truck and for now truckers in all states will still have to undergo random drug tests to have a commercial driver’s license.