Marijuana testing is currently one of the most controversial matters in the employment market. While a majority of states have passed cannabis policies that allow residents to purchase and use either medical or recreational cannabis, the plant is still illegal at the federal level. As such, certain employers choose to or are required to run regular drug tests to ensure their employees are always drug-free.
With millions of Americans now granted access to legal cannabis, the differences between federal and state laws were bound to have repercussions that would affect tons of employees.
A recent report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has revealed that truck drivers overwhelmingly support cannabis testing reforms. The trucking industry has been dealing with driver shortages due to strict drug-testing policies that have reduced the pool of drivers who are eligible for employment.
In March 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a summary report noting that 10,276 commercial truck drivers had tested positive for THC compared to 31,085 positive drivers during the previous year, and 29,511 in 2020. Even though the American Trucking Association stated in 2021 that lower wages and an influx in retirements were responsible for the driver shortage, the recent increase in positive cannabis tests is also contributing.
In the recent ATRI report, titled “Impacts of Marijuana Legalization on the Trucking Industry,” the transportation research institute reviewed cannabis research, data on cannabis use and highway safety, and trends in legalization. The report also summarized the hiring and workforce implications of cannabis legalization on the trucking industry, taking a closer look at the opinions of carriers and truck drivers on cannabis reform.
According to the report, data from the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse shows that more than 100,00 drivers tested positive for marijuana metabolites and were excused from duty from 2020 to 2022. The report also noted that 60.1% of carriers reported an increase in the number of walk-outs and positive pre-employment cannabis tests over the past half-decade. In addition, it notes that with the shortage of truck drivers in recent years averaging 65,000 to 80,000, the drivers removed due to cannabis use are definitely contributing to the shortages.
Federal cannabis prohibition presents a “potential disincentive” for truck drivers, and loosening marijuana testing rules could expand the employee pool and make trucking more attractive to drivers. The report showed that 62% of carriers said that the industry needed to change its federal drug testing policies, with 65.4% saying the cannabis use test should be replaced with a cannabis impairment test, and 40.9% of carriers stated that they were still concerned about impaired driving.
It is possible that a notable number of truckers who test positive for marijuana use the substance for medical reasons, and it is unfortunate that such people lose their jobs as a result. The work being done by entities such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) to come up with pharmaceutical-grade therapeutics from marijuana compounds could help such individuals manage their health conditions without putting their jobs at risk.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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