Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight November 11, 2020

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ASSOCIATIONINSIGHT Portable Sanitation Association International News BIWEEKLY EDITION NOVEMBER 11, 2020 Page 2 Legal Cannabis—Driving the Portable Sanitation Industry Crazy …continued from page 1 Continued on page 15 A domino effect followed, with several more states allowing medicinal use of pot over the next few years. Now, 15 states, two territories, and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 34 states and two territories allow medical marijuana. The map at right was published by the National Conference of State Legislatures. It shows in dramatic fashion just how these laws are spreading across the United States. Check out the laws in your state here. While this might be good news for the people who make Doritos, it creates hassles for portable sanitation companies. Whether the possession and use of pot is allowed in your state or not, drivers are not allowed to have it in their systems if they operate your trucks. Pot Is Popular and the Issue Is Real Despite laws that continue to make it illegal for commercial drivers to use marijuana, a lot of people do. A Data for Progress report published in August 2020, showed that full legalization of marijuana is backed by a majority of voters of both political parties as shown in the chart at left. According to an April 2017 poll by Yahoo News and Marist College, more than half of Americans have tried the stuff, and 35 million are regular users. The 2020 annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index showed that marijuana use is up among federally mandated safety-sensitive workers such as truck drivers, and employers are being faced with more causes to require a test. Positive tests among these workers, which include truck drivers, were up nearly 24 percent since 2015. All of this would present a challenge for employers even if service technicians were falling from the skies; training and hiring costs are not cheap. In the present environment, though, it presents nightmares. There is a significant shortage of truck drivers in general, and the headaches that go along with legalized pot only make the challenge of staffing your company with reliable and competent drivers more difficult. An August 2017 article published on Trucks.com notes that more trucking companies and commercial drivers' license schools are telling candidates not to fill out applications if they're going to test positive. Even with that caveat, failure rates are still as high as 60 percent, according to Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association. Meanwhile, the Journal of Commerce (JOC) predicted the number of eligible truck drivers would dwindle even further when the new national drug and alcohol test clearinghouse came online in January 2020, and that proved to be true. When the Clearinghouse published its first monthly report in June, it revealed that of 18,860 drivers in "prohibited status" (they may not legally drive), marijuana was by far the most reported substance used—10,388 instances.

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