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Trucking Sector Effects Of Legalizing Marijuana To Be Examined By Research Group!

A new study is looking into how the trucking sector may be affected by the recent legalization of marijuana in numerous states. The American Transportation Research Institute released a carrier study on the impact of marijuana legalization on the industry’s workforce on February 15. “motor carrier workers and executives familiar with driver recruitment, retention, and drug testing processes” are being polled for their thoughts.

The Survey Asks Carriers a Number of Questions on Related Topics:

  • Hiring policies regarding drivers with past positive Marijuana tests.
  • Company drug testing practices.
  • Current trends in the labor pool.
  • Approaches to addressing legal marijuana.

The Research Advisory Committee at ATRI has reportedly designated studying the after-effects of legal marijuana as a high priority for the year 2022. A 2019 report on the impact of marijuana legalization on traffic safety will be supplemented, according to the organization.

The 2019 study concluded that “while increased access to marijuana has not directly affected the trucking industry in terms of truck drivers testing positive for marijuana,” the increased frequency of marijuana-positive drivers operating on the same roadways as trucks makes marijuana-impaired driving a critical safety issue for the trucking industry.

New information, however, shows a more complicated picture. Over 41,000 truck drivers in 2022 tested positive for marijuana, a 32% increase from the previous year, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse.

It is unknown what prompted this sudden change, but it is important to recall that FMCSA does not disclose the number of drivers who are tested. Hence, the rise in positives might be explained by a growth in the number of drivers subjected to testing. ATRI claims the updated data will aid carriers in overcoming potential challenges brought about by legalizing marijuana.

ATRI stated in a statement that the study was “timely” since it would shed light on the “particular problems motor carriers confront as the use of recreational marijuana expands in the U.S.” The results “could also shed light on how the sector should approach addressing these difficulties.”

You have until March 17 to fill out the survey we’re offering online. ATRI claims that in a “few weeks,” they will roll out a new survey specifically for drivers. By mid-year, researchers want to release a comprehensive report on the results of both polls.

Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. “designated as drugs with no currently recognized medical utility and a high potential for abuse” describes substances in this category. Despite being placed on Schedule 1, numerous states have legalized marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes.

The District of Columbia and 38 other states have legalized marijuana for medical use. A total of 21 states now permit recreational marijuana use. And in seven of the United States, laws permit the sale of CBD oil products with trace amounts or no psychoactive THC. Now, just four states (Kansas, Idaho, South Carolina, and Wyoming) have a zero-tolerance policy for marijuana use.

Nevertheless, that may soon change as legislation to legalize marijuana usage in either Kansas or South Carolina has been introduced. Neither Idaho nor Wyoming have any bills in the works that would regulate or legalize marijuana. The White House published a statement on “marijuana reform” in the month of October.

Vice President Biden wrote a letter requesting a reevaluation of the drug’s classification by several government authorities. In a statement released by the White House, Trump said, “I am requesting the secretary of Health and Human Services and the attorney general to commence the administrative process to review swiftly how marijuana is handled under federal law.”

According to current federal legislation, cannabis is categorized as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, a category reserved for the most harmful drugs. The substances responsible for our current overdose crisis, fentanyl, and methamphetamine, are placed on the same schedule as heroin and LSD.

Although the legality of marijuana is changing from state to state, it is still against the law for commercial drivers to be under the influence. The United States Department of Transportation issued a policy statement on truck drivers using marijuana in 2012. We want to be crystal clear that the state efforts will not affect the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program.

Schedule I narcotics, such as marijuana, are not permitted under the terms of 49 CFR Part 40, the Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation. Joe Sentef, FMCSA’s chief medical officer, indicated that if there were to be any adjustments to the policy, they would take some time to implement.

“As of right now, I don’t think we’ve had anything in the works other than informal talks between the White House and HHS,” stated at an October meeting of the FMCSA’s Medical Review Board. It will take some time, so I would say if it happens at all it will be quite a while. That won’t happen for at least a few years.

Although the United States Department of Transportation has taken a firm stance against marijuana use, there remains considerable ambiguity among commercial drivers. OOIDA’s drug and alcohol consortium, Consortium Management Co. Inc., provides drivers with guidance as they face the challenge of complying with obligatory drug and alcohol testing.

The answer to the “can I or can’t I?” question is rather straightforward, according to FaLisa McCannon, the supervisor of CMCI. Although several states have legalized recreational marijuana use, “if you hold a CDL and are driving a DOT truck anywhere in the United States, it is still not appropriate to participate in marijuana,”

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Sheela Sharma

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Sheela is a skilled and experienced writer with a deep passion for all things related to the CBD industry. She enjoys writing everything related to CBD and Marijuana. When she isn't writing she likes to watch tv series and listen to podcasts.

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