Some States’ Legalized Marijuana and the Trucking Industry
Melbourne, Fla.—Little by little we continue to see more states and cities adhering to this new trend. According to trucking industry experts, drug screenings paired with the nature of the job that requires truckers to spend weeks-on-end away from home is making the job even more difficult for many, in an industry that faces severe challenges trying hard to hire new drivers.
A Gallup poll of consumer habits revealed that 49% of US adults have used the drug at least once. To date, 37 states have legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes. While a truck driver may feel they are free to enter a legal state and smoke marijuana, the Department of Transportation (DOT) disagrees. Even in states where marijuana is considered legal, it is still illegal to drive while impaired by any substance. Even if the federal law changes, there will still be strict regulations in place by the DOT to keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.
Currently there are 18 states in total that have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. These states are:
In recent years, the trucking industry's drug policies have become even more stringent, and truck drivers are randomly drug tested on a quarterly basis, as well as in the event of an accident or traffic ticket, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Drivers that test positive are immediately removed from driving commercial motor vehicles, as established by the FMCSA.
The industry implemented a new law that required a list of truck drivers who had failed a drug test in order to prevent other companies to get them hired.
Close to 110,000 truckers were affected by this new law, and according to government data from December of 2021, close to 56% were reported for marijuana use at a time when the trucking industry is reporting an overall shortage of about 80,000 truck drivers in the U.S.
If you are a truck driver, any trace of the drug in your system is considered a failed drug test. You can receive a DUI for having any trace of marijuana in your system even in a legal state or with a medical license. Ultimately, it is not worth the gamble for a commercial truck driver’s career. In terms of insurance, it becomes a huge liability as you may be considered a high risk.
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Contact one of our local commercial/truck insurance agents from Melbourne Truck Insurance to find out what options are available for your trucking and transportation business in the Palm Bay area, and help you start saving on the protections needed. We have the products and underwriting experience that meet the insurance needs of your business. Call us at (321) 329-5556.
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