As more and more states start legalizing marijuana, it's becoming harder to keep big-rig truck drivers on the road.

Photo by Rhys Moult on Unsplash
Photo by Rhys Moult on Unsplash

Why? Because it's illegal to smoke marijuana if you have a commercial vehicle driver's license or CDL—even if it's legal in your state to smoke OR you have a medical card.

While this grey area may not be a problem here in Iowa because marijuana is still illegal here, Iowans are still impacted by this law.

As of April 1st, 10,276 CDL drivers tested positive for marijuana use. This time last year, there were only 7,750 violations. This is a 36.6 percent increase says KCRG.

So far, according to the recent Clearhouse Monthly Report, in Iowa, there have been 1,313 violations since January 2020.

These violations do not mean you are never allowed to drive again, but it means the driver must undergo a return-to-duty process. The report says that there are currently 89,650 drivers in the prohibited status, however, 67,368 have not even begun the RTD process.

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This is just another factor that trucking companies are facing as they navigate the truck driver shortage. This shortage, the American Trucking Associations said back in October, is at an all-time high of around 80,000 trucks.

The Biden administration prioritized getting more drivers on the road, but Washington’s no weed policies are forcing drivers off.

So, with drivers being taken off the road for marijuana reasons, there are going to be consequences that the consumers will be paying for more delayed packages and more empty shelves.

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