SAN DIEGO — More than a quarter of Americans live in a jurisdiction that allows legal marijuana. Weed’s growing popularity in the U.S. is an increasing and complicated concern for the trucking industry.
American Trucking Associations is looking to take the lead in how U.S. businesses adapt to legal weed, noting that there is more to learn about its effects. The ATA Board of Directors created new policies this week that calls for a common-sense approach to liberalizing marijuana laws — in the name of safety. And since every state has different cannabis laws, ATA wants the federal government to change its approach.
“We’ve got to get the federal people involved in this so we have uniformed impairment rules across our nation,” Harold Sumerford Jr., CEO of J&M Tank Lines, told a luncheon crowd at ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition.
Sumerford is co-chairman of ATA’s newly formed Controlled Substances, Health & Wellness Working Group, which is tasked with tackling marijuana’s effect on trucking. Co-chairman Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association, said ATA’s goals are to protect carriers’ rights to have a drug-free workplace, to be able to test their employees and to limit liability.
“But we also need to be sure that when we get more data and more information on this, we can change too,” Enos said. “Because the question is: Is someone impaired if they tested positive for marijuana? Because it stays in your system for 30 days. That’s the crux of the issue, right? You may not be impaired. I know if I had seven or eight whiskeys the other night, (I’d be) feeling pretty rough the next day — but we’d know, physiologically, 24 hours later, I am going to be fine. We don’t know where that is in marijuana and I think that is the biggest challenge that we have today.”
Published: October 09, 2019
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