(January 2022) - The CDC recently issued guidance to businesses developing marijuana policies, balancing state legalization efforts and fleet safety. Per the CDC, marijuana should be addressed in motor vehicle safety programs.
Marijuana is a particularly challenging issue as THC can remain at detectable levels long after any intoxicating effect has ceased. Indeed, THC can be detected up to several weeks following consumption. As a result, the CDC reports marijuana being one of the most frequent drugs found in post-crash testing.
The CDC's confirmation of marijuana's specific contribution to crash risk being unclear further complicates this issue. Likewise, a zero-tolerance marijuana policy may no longer be viable under state legalization laws.
In an effort to provide some guidance on this complicated subject, the CDC published a list of best practices for creating or updating marijuana polices. Those best practices include:
- Development of a comprehensive marijuana policy, which accounts for current state marijuana laws in each state where your company operates;
- The best marijuana policies will (i) prohibit marijuana use at work and (ii) prohibit workers from being under the influence of marijuana when they report to work;
- Specifically outlining marijuana testing procedures;
- Educating drivers on marijuana's effects on safe driving and cognitive abilities;
- Training managers and supervisors on their responsibilities under your marijuana policy and recognizing signs of impairment;
- Seeking advice of legal counsel to review current or proposed marijuana policies; and
- Monitoring relevant state marijuana laws and any improved methods for determining impairment.
The CDC acknowledges there are currently unanswered questions about marijuana's role in crash risk. However, it advises that marijuana use among adults is increasing and further legalization efforts are underway. As a result, it is prudent to address marijuana usage in fleet safety programs and policies.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.