Seyfarth Shaw: CDC Issues Guidance for Employers to Address Possible Marijuana Use by Drivers

CANNANNEW REPORT

By Jennifer L. Mora on December 21, 2021 Last month, the Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, issued a bulletin directed to employers with workers who drive as part of their jobs. The bulletin, “Marijuana Driving: How to Keep Your Fleet’s Drivers Safe,” recognizes that marijuana use is on the rise due to the explosion of medical and recreational marijuana laws passed in most states. Because “marijuana is the most frequently reported drug found in post-crash testing,” the CDC explained that employers should address the issue as part of their “workplace motor vehicle safety programs.” The CDC began with a discussion of the impact that THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) has on users. THC is the psychoactive compound that affects parts of the brain that control movements, balance, coordination, memory, and judgment. Specifically, it can “impair coordination, distort perception, and lead to memory loss and difficulty in problem-solving.” With respect to the impact that THC has on individuals when they drive, “THC can slow reaction times and reduce the ability to make decisions.” In fact, according to the CDC, the risk of a motor vehicle crash increases after the driver uses marijuana. That said, however, the CDC recognizes that because THC can be detected in the body days or weeks after use, the actual impact the drug might have on the accident is not certain. What does the CDC recommend for employers with workers who drive as part of their duties? Develop a comprehensive marijuana policy that accounts for current laws in each state where the employer operates, which prohibits employees from using or being under the influence of marijuana (or any illegal drug) while working. Consult with counsel experienced with state marijuana laws in developing a new or revising an existing drug policy. Outline the specifics of any required drug testing…

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Source : Seyfarth Shaw: CDC Issues Guidance for Employers to Address Possible Marijuana Use by Drivers

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