Earlier this week, Rep. Earl Blumenauer sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation urging the federal agency to reform its cannabis testing policies for truckers and other commercial drivers. The congressman explained that these drug tests unnecessarily cost individuals their jobs and also contribute to issues in the supply chain. In the letter, he cited data from the department showing that thousands of drivers lost their jobs due to strict THC drug-screening policies.
Blumenauer explained that while no individual wanted impaired drivers on U.S. roads, there didn’t exist tests that could detect impairment, which meant that these individuals were being punished for using marijuana while they were off duty or even some days or weeks before they got tested. The congressman emphasized that these disqualifications penalized patients and individuals of color who legally used medical marijuana, decreased the workforce despite the increasing demand for drivers, and denied individuals the right to earn a living, which was why this issue needed to be dealt with urgently.
Blumenauer told Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, that the Department of Transportation needed to develop an accurate test to measure impairment and also reform testing requirements for drivers.
Buttigieg, who hasn’t commented on the department’s cannabis testing policies before, has in the past called for the legalization of marijuana and the decriminalization of other drugs that are still classified as illegal substances.
Currently, the Department of Transportation has made it compulsory that drivers undergo a urine test, which experts and advocates say is problematic. This is because metabolites of THC can stay in an individual’s system for weeks after cannabis has been consumed.
A proposed change in policy would enable the use of saliva-based tests. THC can usually be detected in saliva anywhere from 1 to 24 hours after the use of marijuana. The new proposal also establishes a cut-off point for testing for THC, which will stand at four nanograms per ml. This cutoff will enable the detection of cannabis while eliminating the possibility of getting a positive test from passive exposure.
During a recent press briefing, Blumenauer also stated that the federal government needed to allocate resources to find alternative methods that could be used to determine impairment. Blumenauer, who is the Congressional Cannabis Caucus’ cochair, added that blanket disqualifications caused widespread social and economic damage, and were also unfair and wild. In addition, he explained that the policies around drug testing and cannabis had a different impact on individuals, as individuals of color were more likely to be targeted. This is despite reliable data showing that there were similar rates of marijuana use across races.
As the policies around marijuana continue evolving, it is likely that more people will engage in the home cultivation of this plant by making use of the microfarms or gardens commercialized by Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) so that they can have affordable medical cannabis of a high quality.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX
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