The most recent report from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) provided data that in 2022, approximately 41,000 truck drivers tested positive for marijuana, a 32 % increase from 2021. From 2020 to 2022, more than 100,000 truck drivers tested positive for marijuana.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is associated with delayed response, causing impairment on the road and safety hazards. Professional drivers who use marijuana violate drug-impaired driving laws, which prohibit professional drivers from using marijuana including medical marijuana under any circumstance for road safety. They also violate federal law, which prohibits the recreational use of marijuana.
When a truck driver tests positive for marijuana, the truck driver is required to make an appointment with a medical doctor to develop a treatment plan and the driver is required to have regular testing for marijuana. Less than half of the truck drivers who tested positive for marijuana from 2020 to 2022 completed this process.
There is already a shortage of truck drivers. However, if more truck drivers are encouraged to complete the return-to-work process and if more health education is provided about using marijuana on the job, then the truck driver shortage can be alleviated.
Delaney, M. (2023, February 4). Spike in truck driver marijuana use compounds industry’s labor shortage. WTOP News. https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2023/02/spike-in-truck-driver-marijuana-use-compounds-industrys-labor-shortage/