Colorado’s Legalized Marijuana and Rules for Commercial Drivers

With increased support for medical and recreational marijuana use around the country, it can be confusing to correctly interpret laws and understand the implications of marijuana use on driving safety. Colorado state laws make it very clear that while it is legal to consume marijuana, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while impaired, whether from alcohol or marijuana use. What some don’t realize is that because marijuana is still an illegal substance under federal law, professional drivers are barred from using marijuana at all, whether in their free time or not. Professional drivers are subject to pre-employment, post-accident, reasonable suspicion and random testing per FMCSA regulations, and a non-negative test result, regardless of whether you were on duty or not when you consumed marijuana, is prohibited.

Our dedicated team of truck drivers is the core of our business, and driver safety is our #1 concern. Our company policies (and the policies of the department of transportation) are designed to keep everyone on the road safe. DOT safety policies do not permit any valid explanation for a failed marijuana drug test (including a medical marijuana prescription) if you have a commercial driver’s license and drive professionally. This is true for any DOT-regulated commercial driver, including train engineers, pilots, and bus drivers.

What Happens When a Driver Fails a Marijuana Drug Test?

If a driver fails a drug test for marijuana or any other controlled substances, regardless of circumstances, their employer is required by DOT regulations to terminate the employee. The regulations are clear that even if the driver has not driven while impaired, they are expected to keep THC, the substance responsible for marijuana euphoric high, completely out of their body.

Even though marijuana consumption is legal in Colorado, the bottom line is, to remain employed as a commercial driver, you must avoid marijuana and marijuana products, edibles, and any other forms of THC completely.