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Nationwide Trucker Shortage Could Be Due to Marijuana Testing

America has been experiencing a labor shortage in the trucking industry since the beginning of the pandemic. While long hours and weeks away from home are a factor, a recent analysis determined that marijuana testing may be forcing well-qualified drivers out of the job prematurely, according to Insider.

Chris Harvey, head of equity strategy at Wells Fargo, believes that regular drug screenings for marijuana, has resulted in many drivers being blacklisted from their profession.

A Gallup poll of consumer habits recently found that about 49% of adults in the United States have used marijuana at least one time. Although many businesses are loosening their drug policies as cannabis becomes legalized through the country, the trucking industry has refused to budge.

All drivers are randomly drug tested quarterly and receive tests when they are in an accident or receive a ticket, per the FMCA. As a result of this, many drivers losing their jobs when the test comes back positive for marijuana.

A new trucking law implemented in 2020 requires all truckers who failed a drug test to register in a federal database that will prevent them from being hired at a different company. Since this law was implemented, more than 110,000 drivers have been impacted in some way. More than half of the drivers lost their jobs due to reported marijuana use.

Since the database was launched, more than 81,000 drivers have been listed as “prohibited from work” due to a failed drug test. In December, 2021, the American Trucking Associated reported 80,000-driver shortage.


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