warm thoughts

NEW RESEARCH: IMPACT OF STATE MARIJUANA LAWS ON THE TRUCKING WORKFORCE

Written on: September 11, 2023

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

A multi-drug urine testing kit, designed for use at home sits next to two hand-rolled joints and some raw marijuana. The results slots are blank for you to add “negative” or “positive” symbols, if desired. two lines indicates negative, one line positive.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently released research focusing on the impacts of marijuana—including legalization across numerous states but not the federal government—on the workforce of industries that rely on trucking. This is a difficult issue as marijuana remains detectible in a person’s system for weeks, while alcohol and most recreational drugs are only detectible for a matter of days or even hours when using U.S. DOT-approved testing methods. Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicates that more than 100,000 drivers tested positive and were removed from duty between 2020-2022. With a national driver shortage of upwards of 80,000, these positive tests significantly impact the industry.

This research report assesses the impacts of legalization on the trucking industry’s workforce and includes:

A review of the latest demographic trends in marijuana legalization;
An overview of research and data related to highway safety and marijuana use;
A summary of workforce and hiring implications for the trucking industry; and
An analysis of available national data for positive marijuana drug tests.
The report also analyzes data derived from two ATRI surveys on the industry impacts of marijuana—one focused on motor carrier perspectives and the other focused on driver perspectives. Finally, the research offers a review of possible near-term outcomes intended to help the industry navigate through the complex safety and employment issues that have resulted from state-level legalization of marijuana.

Read the full ATRI report here. For more information, contact NPGA’s President and CEO, Stephen Kaminski, at skaminski@npga.org