2 MTS bus drivers who ate pot brownies cleared for work

Person who provided brownies fired

SAN DIEGO - Two San Diego bus drivers placed on paid leave for refusing to take substance-abuse counseling and a non-driving position after unwittingly eating marijuana-laced brownies have been cleared to return to work Friday.

The drivers, along with a third who accepted the conditional offer, work for the Metropolitan Transit System. They unwittingly ate pot brownies on Aug. 26 while on-duty.

MTS officials have always maintained they believe the drivers did not know the brownies they accepted from a fellow driver were laced with marijuana but cited federal regulations as the reason for the conditional offer.

Late Thursday, MTS officials said the Federal Transit Administration has waived safety regulations, allowing the drivers to get back behind the wheel, according to U-T San Diego.

The provider, Ku'uipoaloha Lawler, 57, was fired following an investigation by San Diego police. The District Attorney's Office could choose to charge Lawler with a crime, possible felony poisoning punishable by up to five years in prison, U-T San Diego reported.

Lawler allegedly told his fellow drivers he made the brownies himself and described the treat as double-fudge Betty Crocker honey brownies. One of the victims said he asked Lawler if they were pot brownies and was told they were not.

After eating the brownies, the victims reported feeling dizzy while on their bus routes and were sent home as new drivers were called in to finish the shifts, MTS officials said. No one was injured.

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