Today's Trucking

CTA calls for more oversight for marijuana prescribers

Posted: December 4, 2017

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is calling on Health Canada to restrict commercial truck drivers from using medical marijuana while on the job and says there should be more oversight from the medical community who are prescribing the drug to workers in safety sensitive positions.

In a letter to Health Canada, the CTA restated its position on that there should be a zero tolerance policy for drivers when it comes to operating a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of the drug.

The national lobbying organization said that while truck drivers already have an exemplary safety record, impending legalization will carry greater risks for motor carriers and have a significant impact on society and the workplace.

The CTA is asking the Government of Canada to follow the approach used in the United States and not differentiate between recreation and medical use of marijuana when it comes to truck drivers, in addition to holding prescribing physicians more accountable.

“As we understand it, many prescribing physicians are unaware of what their patients do for a living,” says CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “In turn, some people who are medically authorized to use marijuana might believe this somehow exempts them from impaired driving laws. Obviously in the case of safety sensitive work, such as trucking which shares its workplace with the motoring public, this can be of serious concern.”

The CTA believes prescribing physicians should be required to sign a document saying they are aware of what their patient does for a living.

“If the true goal is public safety for all road users then it shouldn’t matter whether it’s being used for recreational or medicinal purposes,” says Laskowski. “Commercial drivers are already held to the highest standards of safety and this shouldn’t be any different.”

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