No, due to strict federal regulations, truck drivers cannot use medical marijuana while holding a CDL.
Marijuana is a Schedule I drug on the federal level and CDL(s) (Commercial Driving Licenses) are issued by the DOT (Department Of Transportation), legal protection provided by a state government to a registered medical marijuana patient doesnât work.
Regardless of the state youâre originally from, you canât have a CDL and a medical marijuana card at the same time.
Do CDL drivers in need of medical marijuana-based treatment get employment protections?
The DOT is very clear when it comes to its âDrug and Alcohol Regulationâ in order to issue a CDL. As per the regulation, if you test positive for marijuana use, thatâs a sure cancellation of your existing CDL. The state laws canât interfere or provide legal protection even if youâre a registered medical marijuana user.
A CDL driver is also required to pass a pre-employment drug test and must undergo a drug test in case of a crash along with random drug tests from time to time. Refusing to appear for a test or failing one is an immediate suspension of the CDL.
The Cole Memo Project and CDL drivers
The Cole Memo Project was an initiative taken by the Attorney General back in 2018 providing some relaxation to the Cannabis industry nationwide.
The project aimed to provide certain exceptions when it comes to filling a legal case in a state that has legalized medical cannabis. However, CDL drivers donât get benefits from the Cole Memo Project in any capacity.
The CDL(s) are issued by the DOT which is a federal institute and must give preference to federal legislation over the state legislation.
The laws revolving around CDL(s) and medical marijuana cards are firm not allowing drivers to possess a CDL and a medical marijuana license at the same time.
This automatically puts some individuals in a very difficult position where they have to decide between life-saving medications and CDL necessary for their employment. As long as marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, things wonât change.