Denver Direct: FOR FEDERAL WORKERS (FOREST SERVICE) RE: POT


Friday, January 10, 2014

FOR FEDERAL WORKERS (FOREST SERVICE) RE: POT

Subject: Clarification to Drug Testing Policy for Recreational Marijuana Use
To: Rocky Mountain Regional Employees

As you are aware, the State of Colorado has a new state law enacted this month legalizing recreational use of marijuana. With the passage of these state laws in Colorado and Washington State, the Washington Office distributed a memorandum reminding Forest Service employees that marijuana use is still illegal under federal law. It is my intent that all Rocky Mountain Region employees read and understand the memorandum’s direction and our responsibilities as federal employees.
The WO memo entitled “Clarification to Drug Testing Policy for Recreational Marijuana Use” is enclosed. Additionally, the Colorado Federal Executive Board recently sent out an all employee announcement (enclosed) reminding employees of the drug free workplace requirements. I am requesting all supervisors provide copies of these enclosures to their employees within the Rocky Mountain Region.
It is imperative that employees understand a key part of the enclosed WO memo, “All Forest Service employees are expected to remain drug free and refrain from illegal drug use during duty and off-duty hours. Doing so preserves the integrity and safety of our workplace, as well as allows us to properly serve the public.”
For the safety of our customers and fellow employees, I expect all Rocky Mountain Region employees to abide by federal law and the enclosed direction. As a reminder to our visiting public, possession and use of marijuana remains illegal on federal lands and federal buildings within Colorado.
If you have questions about the enclosed direction, please contact your supervisor.

Subject: Clarification to Drug Testing Policy for Recreational Marijuana Use

To: Regional Foresters, Station Directors, Area Director, IITF Director, Deputy Chiefs and WO Directors

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide agency clarification as a result of recently passed state laws which permit the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. All Forest Service employees are advised that the Federal Drug Free Workplace Program (DFWP), as established by Executive Order 12564, Public Law 100-71, has not been modified to reflect any change to the panel of drugs contained in Schedule I under the Controlled Substance Act. As such, the DFWP will continue to operate in accordance with Federal law, which identifies marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug.

Employees are reminded state laws which allow recreational marijuana use have no bearing on Federal laws which govern the DFWP and its applicable rules and regulations. Federal employees within the executive branch covered under test designated positions will continue to be tested for marijuana. Any employee having a positive drug test result for marijuana will be subject to the standards outlined in the USDA Table of Penalties.

All Forest Service employees are expected to remain drug free and refrain from illegal drug use during duty and off-duty hours. Doing so preserves the integrity and safety of our workplace, as well as allows us to properly serve the public.

If you have any questions or require additional information concerning the DFWP, please contact John Freeman, Supervisor, Drug Testing at (505) 563-9302 or email: [email protected]

/s/ J. Lenise Lago
J. LENISE LAGO
Deputy Chief for Business Operations

REMINDER OF FEDERAL DRUG FREE WORKPLACE REQUIREMENTS

In light of Colorado’s legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana, the following information is provided as a reminder that Federal employees are covered by the requirements of Executive Order 12564, Drug-free Federal Workplace.

Executive Order 12564 (Drug-Free Federal Workplace) specifically states, in part:

Section 1. Drug-Free Workplace.
a) Federal employees are required to refrain from the use of illegal drugs.
b) The use of illegal drugs by Federal employees, whether on duty or off duty, is contrary to the efficiency of the service.
c) Persons who use illegal drugs are not suitable for Federal employment.

The Executive Order further states in Section 7:
c) For purposes of this Order, the term “illegal drugs” means a controlled substance included in Schedule I or II, as defined by section 802(6) of Title 21 of the United States Code, the possession of which is unlawful under chapter 13 of that Title.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Guidance Regarding Marijuana Enforcement makes it clear that marijuana remains an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

The Department of Interior Business Center Drug & Alcohol Testing Branch states that, “Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug, and marijuana use is not an acceptable medical explanation for a positive drug test result. A prescription or written recommendation for marijuana from a licensed physician or medical professional does not exempt the employee or applicant from this rule.

Finally, an employer can prohibit employees from being impaired/intoxicated by illegal drugs, alcohol or even prescription drugs in the workplace where there is a nexus to their job. The applicable laws for reasonable workplace accommodation for federal employees with disabilities does not require an employer to accommodate the illegal use of drugs.

Executive Order 12564–Drug-free Federal workplace – http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12564.html