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(Meanwhile) Drug Czar, Secretary Of Transportation Reaffirm Federal Drug Testing Laws

Thursday, 12 December 1996

Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey and Department of Transportation Secretary Federico Penn held a joint press conference today to issue a strong national warning from the Clinton Administration that the federal transportation drug testing laws will continue to be fully enforced without any effect whatsoever from the recent passage of Proposition 215 in California or Proposition 200 in Arizona.

The [federal] law is clear," said McCaffrey and Pena. "If you are a safety-sensitive transportation worker and you're caught using drugs, these propositions don't mean a thing. You're out of a job."

The Drug Czar elaborated that users of medical marijuana will not be granted an exemption from federal drug testing regulations. "The use ... of marijuana under California Proposition 215 or of any Schedule I drug under Arizona Proposition 200 is not a legitimate explanation," he emphasized. "As a matter of fact and a matter of federal law, marijuana and other drugs listed on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act do not have legitimate medical use in the United States. Thus, if you test positive for marijuana, and tell the MRO that a doctor recommended or prescribed the use of marijuana for you, the MRO will [still] verify the test positive" and you will lose your job.

"Since the passage of these initiatives, it has been clear that the administration would rather work against the will of the voters rather than with them," said NORML deputy Director Allen St. Pierre.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of NORML at (202) 483-5500.