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Truckers turn to cannabis, get suspended

Amidst the supply chain problems plaguing the American retail industry, one problem emerges as a very easy solution. Nearly 40,000 truckers have been suspended for using cannabis – now legal in more than half of the country – to relax during their hours. Many people call that discrimination work.

Urine tests identify inert metabolites, not active cannabinoids. While the effects of cannabis last only a few hours, urine tests can be positive more than a month after consumption. This often forces drivers to resort to alcohol, illicit drugs that pass through the system faster, or pharmaceutical drugs with problematic side effects, which serve to increase road hazards.

The Feds began conducting drug trials on drivers in the 1980s, after NIDA director Robert Dupont patented the process based on publicly paid studies, and began promoting the method as a way to identify marijuana users and quit their jobs. Since then, drug testing has become a very profitable business and has spread like a cancer throughout society to discriminate against cannabis users.

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Legal cannabis seems safe for drivers.

Tests can cover shorter time intervals

One problem (out of many): it’s easy to beat a urine test. The U.S. Department of Transportation, which requires drug testing drivers, has proposed changes to existing federal drug testing guidelines that allow the use of oral fluid tests as an alternative to urine tests for those working in the transportation industry.

At one point, blood tests were thought to be an alternative with shorter time coverage, but recent studies show that blood content rises and rises in waves, making the tests intrinsically unreliable and completely unable to determine. the impairment.

The agency proposed the rule change in the February 28, 2022 edition Federal Registeropining, “This will give employers a choice that will help combat employee deception on urine drug testing and provide a more economical, less intrusive means to achieve the program’s safety goals.” .


The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, contributed to this report.


Note that DOT specifically avoids any mention of its being more reliable or better at demonstrating inability, clear red flags about its true value, except to discriminate against drivers.

Days instead of weeks of exposure to fire

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Oral fluid tests usually detect either THC or its metabolite for a period of one to two days after exposure – a schedule that is significantly shorter than that associated with urine analysis. The latter can detect the presence of carboxy-THC for weeks or even months after abstinence.

Federal law requires commercial drivers to undergo routine marijuana urine analysis tests. In recent months, federal statistics have identified the suspension of more than 72,000 truckers as a result of failed drug tests. More than half of these failed tests were for past marijuana use.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed in the Federal Expansion Register federal drug testing guidelines to include the use of hair follicle tests. To date, however, that rule change proposal has not been finalized.

NORML has long questioned the use of performance testing technology, rather than drug detection technology, to determine if someone may be unfamiliar while working.

The full text of the proposed rules is available from the United States Federal Register. Further information on drug testing is available from the NORML factsheet, ‘Legalization of Marijuana and Impact on the Workplace. ‘

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