Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:13 PM
Purveyor (28,743 posts)
Department of Transportation: Marijuana Use Still ‘Unacceptable’
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday it will continue to treat marijuana use as a violation of its internal drug policies even in states where the drug was legal.
“It remains unacceptable for any safety‐sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana,” stated Jim Swart, director of the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance. “We want to assure the traveling public that our transportation system is the safest it can possibly be.”
Voters in Washington state and Colorado approved ballot measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana last month. The new initiatives are set to clash with federal law, which still considers the production, possession and sale of marijuana to be a crime.
Swart said the policy also applied to medical marijuana.
DOT employees such as pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers and others will still face suspension for testing positive for marijuana, even if they have obtained a physician’s recommendation to use the drug.
12 replies, 1387 views
Department of Transportation: Marijuana Use Still ‘Unacceptable’ (Original post)
|Xipe Totec||Dec 2012||#1|
|sabbat hunter||Dec 2012||#6|
Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #1)
Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:40 PM
mike_c (34,339 posts)
7. but it isn't illegal to drink on your own time...
...when not driving, flying, etc. They're extending the prohibition against marijuana even to personal and medical use off the clock, when not performing job responsibilities. That's an unreasonable intrusion into employees' personal lives.
Response to sabbat hunter (Reply #6)
Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:38 PM
RKP5637 (40,477 posts)
11. At the time I was thinking along the lines of something like #7. I've been hearing this
crap about pot for decades and decades. One can drink their guts out, but have a little pot and they make is sound like you just took acid.
Response to Purveyor (Original post)
Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:18 PM
kestrel91316 (50,423 posts)
4. So, even though all physical and psychological effects disappear in a few hours,
having even a trace of THC in your blood as much as a month later makes you a danger???
DOT is insane. Effing fascists.
They need to either find a way to test for the actual presence of enough SOMETHING to affect your actual safety or GIVE UP. How about a curbside sobriety test before going to work?? Would that be so impossible????
Response to Purveyor (Original post)
Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:51 PM
Bennyboy (10,440 posts)
9. Without testing to see, if in fact, it is
harmful. I'll take a stoner over even sober people personally. When it comes to driving, it ctually helps most people IMO becasue it helps them pay attention and slows them down.
This is the things here, is that there are no tests, no data to support this position. What studies that have been done (all in other countries) indicate the opposite but, because of cannabis's schedule 1 rating, it cannot be tested for any reason what so ever in the US.
The other problem is this. The amount of time it stays in your system. Every other rug goes away almost over night but pot sticks around forever and ever. I once did without completely for 60 days (The longest six months of my life)and two test cleans and did not pass the drug test.
Another problem is this, insurance. If you are deemed high and have an insurance issue tehy can use that to not settle a claim.
Response to fredamae (Reply #10)
Tue Dec 4, 2012, 03:14 PM
Bennyboy (10,440 posts)
12. Thanks for that...... (From that article some conclusions.....)
The foregoing comparisons might be misleading. THC's effects differ qualitatively from many other drugs, especially alcohol. For example, subjects drive faster after drinking alcohol and slower after smoking marijuana (Hansteen et al., 1976/ Casswell, 1979; Peck et al., 1986; Smiley et al., 1987).. Moreover, the simulator study by Ellingstad et al. (1973) showed that subjects under the influence of marijuana were less likely to engage in overtaking maneuvers, whereas those under the influence of alcohol showed the opposite tendency. Very importantly, our city driving study showed that drivers who drank alcohol over-estimated their performance quality whereas those who smoked marijuana under-estimated it. Perhaps as a consequence, the former invested no special effort for accomplishing the task whereas the latter did, and successfully. This evidence strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution, at least in experiments. Another way THC seems to differ qualitatively from many other drugs is that the former users seem better able to compensate for its adverse effects while driving under the influence. Weil et al. (1968) were among the earliest authors who mentioned the possibility that marijuana users can actively suppress the drug's adverse effects. They presumed that THC's effects were confined to higher cortical functions without any general stimulatory or depressive effect on lower brain centers. According to them, the relative absence of neurological, as opposed to psychiatric, symptoms in marijuana intoxication suggests this possibility. More recently, Moskowitz (1985) concluded that the variety of impairments found after marijuana smoking could not be explained by decrements in sensory or motor functions which led him to hypothesize that some important central cognitive process is impaired by THC, without saying what it is. Identification of THC's site of action would greatly enhance our understanding of the drug's psychopharmacological effects.
Epidemiological research has shown that THC is infrequently detected in the blood of fatally injured drivers as the only drug present. In most cases alcohol is also detected. The effects of the combination of THC and alcohol on actual driving performance have never been studied in the presence of other traffic. Closed-course studies have shown that the effects of both drugs, when taken in combination, are generally additive (Atwood et al., 1981; Peck et al., 1986). This may only be so for those behaviors that are similarly affected by both rugs given separately. Closer examination of the combined use is warranted in those driving situations where both drugs produce qualitatively different effects. It may well be so that alcohol reduces drivers' insight or motivation to the point where they would no longer attempt to compensate for the THC effect. As a result, the combined effects on drivers' performance could well be greater than the sum of either drug acting separately. There is therefore a great need for further research on marijuana and actual driving research, but now extended to the combination of marijuana and alcohol.
In summary, this program of research has shown that marijuana, when taken alone, produces a moderate degree of driving impairment which is related to the consumed THC dose. The impairment manifests itself mainly in the ability to maintain a steady lateral position on the road, but its magnitude is not exceptional in comparison with changes produced by many medicinal drugs and alcohol. Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate where they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC's adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small