Over 10,000 truck drivers have been taken off the road this year in the US due to marijuana violations. This lack of truck drivers mixed with the rebound from COVID-19 has only furthered the current supply chain issues. The driver shortage in the US is no joke either, with the American Trucking Association reporting that the shortage is the highest it has ever been. An aging population of drivers, shrinking wages, and increase in marijuana violations creates an ugly scene affecting Americans around the country.
As more and more states legalize marijuana each year, more and more truck drivers consume the substance. As of April 1, 2022, 10,276 commercial vehicle drivers tested positive for marijuana use. This is a rise of 32.6% since the same date in 2021. Drivers crossing state lines are subject to varying laws depending on which state they are in. Some allow for marijuana to be in the system while others don’t, creating a confusing set of rules drivers must abide by.
According to the Department of Transportation, their regulations treat marijuana as if it were any other illicit drug. This is the case no matter if the state the driver is in has legal marijuana or not. The DOT also regularly drug tests drivers even if they are allowed to consume marijuana off the job. This has led to thousands of truckers being fired from their jobs.
Regulations need to be updated; rules changed. If we continue at the current pace, the supply chain issues here in the US will only continue to get worse.
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