Trucking group hawkish on driver testing in legalized-pot era

Sources: American Trucking Associations, Alexandria, Va.; CP staff

American Trucking Associations directors have endorsed new policies and recommendations aimed at helping the industry continue to safely operate in an environment where more states—with combined population approaching 100 million—are liberalizing laws related to the recreational use of marijuana. Developed by the ATA Controlled Substances and Driver Health and Wellness Working Group, they bolster existing federation positions on impaired driving policies through calls for:

  • Government maintaining the right of employers to test for marijuana if they determine that use could adversely affect safety;
  • Lifting of federal restrictions on marijuana research, coupled with more research into marijuana’s impact on impairment, especially in conjunction with other substances;
  • Development of oral fluid testing and impairment standards; and,
  • Creation of a marijuana victim’s compensation fund, paid for by dispensaries, cultivators and manufacturers.

These join prior policies in which ATA has advocated for a) the government to allow alternative drug testing methods; b) creation of a national database of positive drug and alcohol test results; and, c) adoption of strong anti-impaired driving laws.

“ATA has long been an advocate for reducing impaired driving—in all its forms—so it only makes sense that we would call upon state and federal governments to consider the impact of increased use of marijuana on our roadways,” says CEO Chris Spear. “As an industry that operates in all 50 states and across national borders, we need all levels of government to help us keep our roads and drivers drug-free.” While recognizing that the modern world is changing, he adds, the new platform allows the federation to “advocate for strong, safety-oriented policies backed by sound science and data.”