Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight November 25, 2020

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ASSOCIATIONINSIGHT Portable Sanitation Association International News BIWEEKLY EDITION NOVEMBER 25, 2020 Page 2 Legal Cannabis—HR Policy Issues…continued from page 1 Continued on page 3 They join a total of 47 states and four territories with statutes that contradict federal law by allowing individuals to use pot recreationally, for medicinal purposes, or both. The US government still officially lists marijuana as a Schedule I pharmaceutical, prohibits the manufacture, distribution, possession, and use of marijuana, and considers it to have "no accepted medical purpose." Despite this, legalization has moved across the US rapidly since 2012 when Colorado and Washington State were the first to decriminalize its recreational use. Inconsistencies between federal and state laws create headaches for portable sanitation companies and others who hire drivers. Any company whose drivers are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversight is obligated to follow its guidelines regardless of state or local law. Specifically: Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), a person is not physically qualified to drive a [commercial motor vehicle] if he or she uses any Schedule I controlled substance such as marijuana. (See 49 CFR §§ 391.11(b) (4) and 391.41(b)(12)). In addition to the physical qualification requirements, the FMCSRs prohibit a driver from being in possession of or under the influence of any Schedule I controlled substance, including marijuana, while on duty, and prohibit motor carriers from permitting a driver to be on duty if he or she possesses, is under the influence of, or uses a Schedule I controlled substance. (See 49 CFR §§ 392.2 and 392.4). Legalization of marijuana use by States and other jurisdictions also has not modified the application of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing regulations in 49 CFR parts 40 and 382. (Underlining added for emphasis) Companies Are between a Rock and a Hard Place The US is short about 60,000 truck drivers right now—a challenge that is likely to get worse in the next few years. This shortage is making it harder than ever for portable sanitation companies to hire and retain personnel for the crucial role of service technician. Add the requirement that companies subject to FMCSRs only employ drivers who consistently avoid the use of legal marijuana and staffing the business gets harder still. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one operator from a state where recreational marijuana use is permitted said, "My company is subject to [federal law], but if we obeyed it in the strictest way we'd lose half our staff. We couldn't be in business. Our drivers don't use [marijuana] on the job, but we can't control what they do in their time off." Source: National Council of State Legislatures Source: American Trucking Associations

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