Our roadways, airways, waterways and rails are in danger of becoming less safe in the near future if we don’t pay special attention to changing marijuana laws.
This fall Congress may vote on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. If passed, the MORE Act will completely decriminalize and commercialize marijuana at the federal level.
What does this mean?
If the MORE Act passes without a Safety Carve-Out – or a special exemption for safety-sensitive employees regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and for federal employees subject to drug and alcohol testing – the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be forced to remove marijuana from its drug testing panel.
HHS makes many of the rules for the Department of Transportation (DOT), which regulates just about anyone in the transportation industry including commercial truck drivers, pilots, charter fishermen, bus drivers, train conductors and others.
Federal law states that DOT must follow HHS guidelines for drug testing. So, if HHS is forced to remove marijuana from the drug testing panel, it will effectively be removed from the DOT panel.
In short, anyone with a federal license in public transportation could legally be under the influence of marijuana while operating in your community. Your local bus driver, the dump truck driver at the neighboring construction site, the pilot flying your plain — all could be providing their safety-sensitive services while high.
TSS, its member organization, the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association, and many others have been advocating for years at the local, state and federal levels to have a Safety Carve-Out included in all changing marijuana laws.
For the sake of the safety of our communities, please consider taking a stand on this issue. Educate yourself on the MORE Act and consider reaching out to your legislators to make your voice heard.
To learn more about this important issue, please contact Renee Schofield at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 228-6166.