Even under the best of circumstances, operating an 80,000 pound vehicle on public roadways is rather dangerous. However, when truckers are driving under the influence of marijuana, collision risks increase significantly.
While marijuana use is legal in many states, the federal regulations prohibiting commercial truck drivers across the nation from driving under the influence remain intact.
Marijuana advocates are extremely successful in their efforts to convince states to legalize cannabis use. While marijuana is still illegal in Texas, 13 states decriminalized possession, and nine states legalized recreational use of the drug. Plus, 31 states and the District of Columbia already enacted medical marijuana laws.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), collisions have increased by as much as 6 percent in the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use.
U. S. Department of Transportation Regulations
While the prevalence of marijuana legalization continues to grow, these changes are unlikely to prompt the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to alter their regulated drug testing program. Marijuana is still listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, and the DOT doesn’t allow the use or transportation of Schedule I drugs.
Furthermore, DOT regulations don’t permit transportation workers who test positive for marijuana to cite medical conditions as justification for their drug test results. Even if a truck driver resides in a state that legalized medical marijuana; and even if the trucker’s physician recommended use of the drug, a positive test will still subject the driver to the penalties applicable to this offense.
You Need an Attorney
If you’ve suffered injuries in a commercial truck accident due to a trucker’s marijuana use, you need an experienced attorney to help you establish proof of the driver’s negligence.
You may be entitled to collect damages for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.