Idealease Safety Bulletin
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What the FMCSA says about  Recreational Use of Marijuana


Recently, some states passed initiatives to permit use of marijuana for so-called "recreational" and "medicinal" purposes.


Just ask Colorado. Perhaps not so awkwardly labeled the "Highest State," Colorado pulled in $2 million in taxes related to the sale of recreational January 2014 alone. Combined with taxes on sales from medicinal marijuana, the state pulled in nearly $3.5 million in pot-related tax revenue. If that trend continues, the state will see more than $40 million in additional tax dollars in 2014. To put that in perspective, that's approximately 1% of the total annual budgets for Delaware, South Dakota, Montana or West Virginia.


The FMCSA has had numerous inquiries about whether these state initiatives will have an impact upon the Department of Transportation's longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safety-sensitive transportation employees - pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit fire-armed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.


The FMCSA wants to make it perfectly clear that the state initiatives will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation's regulated drug testing program. The Department of Transportation's Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation - 49 CFR Part 40 - does not authorize the use of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.


Therefore, Medical Review Officers (MROs) will not verify a drug test as negative based upon learning that the employee used "recreational marijuana" when states have passed "recreational marijuana" initiatives.


We also firmly reiterate that an MRO will not verify a drug test negative based upon information that a physician recommended that the employee use "medical marijuana" when states have passed "medical marijuana" initiatives.


It is important to note that marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation's drug testing regulations to use marijuana.


We want to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be. 


DEA Makes Synthetic Marijuana a Controlled Substance   


As first reported to you in the April 10, 2010 Idealease Safety Bulletin the use of synthetic marijuana sold under the names of K2 and Spice and other names as incense is available in the US and provides the user the same effect as marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration DEA has now announced that synthetic marijuana is now a controlled substance making it illegal to use by a commercial motor vehicle driver. 

In a Federal Register entry published Jan. 10, 2014 the DEA said the "synthetic cannabinoids" are "an imminent hazard to the public safety," and there are no medical uses for the synthetic strains.
Synthetic marijuana, according to the DEA's Federal Register entry, is "functionally similar" to the active ingredient in natural marijuana - THC. The cannabinoids are not organic, though, and are created in a laboratory. Moreover, the DEA says, "the vast majority of cannabinoids are manufactured in Asia by individuals who are not bound by any manufacturing requirements or quality control standards."

The FMCSA prohibits a driver from engaging in a safety-sensitive function when the driver uses "any controlled substance" except under the supervision of a licensed medical practitioner. 49 CFR 382.213(a).

DOT drug tests, however, do not test for synthetic marijuana, and many, if not most, non-DOT drug testing regimens will not detect synthetics. It is not known at this point if the FMCSA intends to amend its drug test to include these substances.

But because synthetic marijuana is now a controlled substance, motor carriers must prohibit its use by drivers even if it not tested for at the moment. Company policy should prohibit the possession or use of synthetic marijuana. If a driver involved in a crash is proven to have used synthetic marijuana, that fact may be considered evidence of negligence by both the driver and the carrier. 


The drug is generally smoked, the DEA says (information it says it obtained from Internet message boards and from law enforcement officers). According to the DEA, it is sold under hundreds of brand names, some of which are: Spice, K2, Blaze, Red X Dawn, Paradise, Demon, Black Magic, Spike, Mr. Nice Guy, Ninja, Zohai, Dream, Genie, Scene, Smoke, Skunk, Serenity, Yucatan, Fire, Crazy Clown, Black Mamba, Crazy Monkey, Dead Man Walking, Funky Monkey, Sexy Monkey, SinX, TenX, Twilight and 3X. 

 FMCSA Administrator Unveils Service-Forward Website 


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
has one mission: safety. And to pursue that mission, we offer a wide variety of useful services and important information to bus and truck drivers, to carrier companies, and to consumers.
Today, I am proud to announce a significant advance in getting those resources into your hands more easily, our redesigned FMCSA website at
You can read more about the newly redesigned FMCSA website on our Fast Lane blog
PSP Site Relaunched!

The FMCSA Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) website has been relaunched with a brand new design!  The next time you visit the PSP site,, you'll notice the new look.  Nothing has changed in the PSP report or the PSP data, and the site still offers all the same functionality for motor carriers, drivers, and industry screening providers.


Take a Tour

You can tour the new site today.  The short video guides you through the renovation in a few minutes.

If you have any questions about PSP or the site, please email us at



May 21st Deadline is approaching for Motor Carriers to use a Medical Examiner for DOT Physicals who is certified and listed on the National Registry!


To see if the medical examiner you currently are using is certified or to find a certified examiner go to the following website:
Roadcheck America is coming June 3-5, 2014....Driving the Point Home!



Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world, with approximately 14 trucks or buses being inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period in early June.

April 4, 2014
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Registration is Now Open Online for the 2014 Idealease/NPTC Safety Seminars  
Idealease, its affiliates and the National Private Truck Council (NPTC) will again be hosting safety seminars in 2014. The one-day seminars will focus on basic safety and compliance, regulation changes and CSA. The seminars will be available to all Idealease customers, potential customers and NPTC members at no charge. The seminar provides important information applicable for both the novice and experienced transportation professionals.

To view the schedule and register for an upcoming seminar in 2014 click on the following link:

Safety Seminar Schedule: 
8-Apr: Cleveland, OH 
9-Apr: Dayton, OH
10-Apr: Lexington, KY
16-Apr: Philadelphia, PA
16-Apr: Lodi, CA
17-Apr: San Leandro, CA
17-Apr: Newburgh, NY
22-Apr: Wausau, WI
23-Apr: Dubuque, IA
23-Apr: Weirton, WV
24-Apr: Milwaukee, WI
24-Apr: Butler, PA
29-Apr: Harrisburg, PA
30-Apr: Greensboro, NC
1-May: Erie, PA
1-May: Columbia, SC
6-May: Toronto, Ontario
6-May: Everett, WA
8-May: Denver, CO
8-May: Edmonton, AB
13-May: South Bend, IN
14-May: Chicago, IL
15-May: Springfield, IL

The Idealease Safety Bulletin is provided for Idealease affiliates and their customers and is not to be construed as a complete or exhaustive source of compliance or safety information. The Idealease Safety Bulletin is advisory in nature and does not warrant, guarantee, or otherwise certify compliance with laws, regulations, requirements, or guidelines of any local, state, or Federal agency and/or governing body, or industry standards.