Truck driver shortage and cannabis consumption: we need a solution before store shelves are empty

Drug use among commercial truck drivers may be at its highest level since 2019 and the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) wants to know why. To that end, it’s asking carriers a series of questions on safety and other concerns regarding state-level marijuana legalization.

After ATRI’s previous studies have shown a correlation between an increase in drivers under the influence and laws legalizing recreational marijuana, now ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee will take a closer look at recreational marijuana.

December 2022 Data The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse showed positive tests and drug test refusals rose 18% to 69,668 compared to 59,011 last year.

Most of the increase was attributed to violations related to marijuana, which was the most commonly detected substance in positive tests. Weed violations in 2022 increased by 31.6% to 40,916 as compared to 2021.

In fact, positive drug tests reported to the clearinghouse in 2022 increased for 12 of the 14 substances tracked by the database, with only hydrocodone and heroin decreasing, informed of Fretwaves.

“While the numbers are a bit troubling, it is clear that the clearinghouse is working as intended,” P. Sean Garney, co-director of Scopellitis Transportation Consulting, told FreightWaves.

especially with regard to marijuana, FreightWaves noted that cannabis legalization may be a factor, although it is still illegal under federal law. Commercial truck drivers with legally issued medical marijuana permits can be forced To choose between his job and his need for medicinal cannabis.

commercial truck driver shortage

During this, cannabis testing Adding to the growing shortage of truck drivers. Over the past year, a record number of truckers lost their licenses for testing positive for cannabis and many are not taking the necessary steps to get them back. This could exacerbate ongoing commercial driver shortages and thus exacerbate supply-chain challenges across the US

Gurney said the report’s data showed that in 2022 the number of positive tests for pre-employment screening was twice as high as positive tests taken at random from drivers.

bob costelloAmerican Trucking Association The chief economist told attendees at a recruiting and retention conference in Tennessee last week that while he expects the driver shortage to improve this year, he warned there could be a shortage of more than 160,000 drivers by 2031. If the industry doesn’t address the issue with a long-term solution.

“It’s a wake-up call as I look at the demographics and who is going to be the driver and the demand coming into our industry,” Costello said. transport theme, “And if that happens, we will have open shelves in our stores because of the driver shortage. We’ll have to find out.

The challenge of identifying cannabis harm

Measuring cannabis harm is far from an exact science as it affects everyone differently. Ohio Senate recently introduced A bill in which people who are caught driving with marijuana in their system could try to prove they were not impaired.

Again, not an exact science.

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