Truckers still restricted from marijuana use

Pennsylvania is one of 28 states that have passed laws to allow for the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and several states have also enacted measures to permit recreational use of the drug. However, those who are responsible for transporting the nation’s goods do not have clearance to make use of the drug in spite of its legalization. The Department of Transportation has reiterated its position on the matter, forbidding truck drivers from using the drug because of its Schedule I classification.

A spokesperson for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has indicated that policy changes for truckers will not occur without the involvement of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. DOT policies for drug testing will remain unchanged at this point because of the safety concerns related to the trucking industry.

Statistically, approximately 25 percent of the United States population resides in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Monitoring driving and pot use could be challenging as DUI limits and testing methods still need to be standardized. Truckers who might use pot could test positive for THC long after the time of use, and it could be difficult to determine whether marijuana has contributed to a semi truck accident if metabolites are detected in the driver’s systems after such an incident. Because safety on the roads is a point of major concern, truckers may not see approvals for their use of marijuana in the near future.

Trucking safety is a serious concern because of the size of a rig and the potential for catastrophic injuries to occupants of other vehicles if an accident occurs. Because there is yet no unified standard for measuring marijuana impairment, attorneys representing injured victims will continue to rely on other evidence such as the official investigation report and eyewitness to determine the party who should be financial responsibility for the losses caused by the accident.