Proposition puts motorists in danger by creating a safe haven for drugged drivers
Phoenix, AZ – The Arizona Trucking Association today announced its opposition to the “Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act”. The Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act is a proposed ballot initiative that would legalize the use and possession of recreational marijuana. However, the Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act goes much further by superseding well-established public safety laws and hiring practices. If passed, the Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act will be “voter protected” making it impossible to amend additional public safety provisions without voter approval.
The Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act specifically repeals the most common test available to determine if someone is under the influence of marijuana. By prohibiting a per se impairment test, similar to 0.08 with alcohol, the proponents of the Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act create a safe haven for drug users who drive.
“Proponents of the ballot initiative want you to believe that marijuana is safer than alcohol, but despite the rhetoric, marijuana is a dangerous drug and using it significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time in users,” stated Tony Bradley, Arizona Trucking Association President and CEO. “Our companies employ thousands of drivers in Arizona who share the road with millions of drivers every day. Our first priority is always the safety of the driving public. Anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle who has used marijuana is a danger to themselves and the driving public at large.”
The Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act makes marijuana users a protected class for employment purposes. Specifically, the Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act prohibits “discrimination against a person in hiring, terminating or imposing any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person based on a person’s positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites…”
Preventing employers from operating a drug-free workplace will make it difficult, if not impossible, to operate a trucking company in Arizona. Professional truck drivers are required by federal and state law to undergo pre-employment alcohol and drug tests, reasonable suspicion alcohol and drug tests, random alcohol and drug tests, and any time there is an accident regardless of fault. However, the Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act prohibits a company from taking any punitive action “unless the person clearly used or possessed marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or during the person’s hours of employment.”
“The Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act was clearly written to protect users of this dangerous drug regardless of the consequences to Arizona as a whole,” continued Bradley. “If the Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act passes, marijuana users will be protected, but Arizona trucking companies won’t be able to get food to the stores, medicine to hospitals, or fuel to the gas stations without breaking either federal drug testing and safety laws or the violating Arizona’s Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act.”
Members of the Arizona Trucking Association urge others to oppose the Regulation & Taxation of Marijuana Act.
The Arizona Trucking Association is a non-profit trade association that serves as the primary voice of the trucking industry in Arizona. In 2013, the trucking industry in Arizona provided 102,230 jobs or one out of 21 in the state. Total trucking industry wages paid in Arizona in 2013 exceeded $4.5 billion. Trucks transported 92 percent of total manufactured tonnage in the state in 2010 or 355,988 tons per day. 85 percent of Arizona communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods.