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NDASA Advocacy Day 3.5.2024

Updated: Apr 18

As a member of the board of the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association, I was invited to join a team of about 35 additional Board and NDASA members for Advocacy Day in Washington, DC on 03.05.2024.

We also collaborated with PAN (Parent Action Network) and SAM (Smart Approach to Marijuana) to make this advocacy date a success! SAM and PAN were advocating to close the Farm Bill loophole (Delta-8) and opposing the SAFE Bank Act while NDASA was advocating for the Safety Carve-Out, in regards to Marijuana testing in the transportation industry, the MORE Act (H.R. 5601) and opposing rescheduling Marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) to Schedule III.

So, the question is, why does cannabis rescheduling changes require a safety carve-out for U.S. DOT Safety Sensitive Employees?

The Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act of 1991 gave the right to test with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “establishing the minimum list of controlled substances for which individuals may be tested.” HHS states that an “employee may be tested for any drugs listed in Schedule I or II of the Controlled Substances Act (other than the drugs listed in Section 3.1, or when used pursuant to a valid prescription or when used as otherwise authorized by law.)

So, if states are authorized by federal law to deem marijuana as lawful, the direct result is that HHS will remove THC (marijuana) from the Federal Register. If HHS removes THC from the Federal Register, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will not be allowed to test for THC.

The solution is a Safety-Carve-Out for safety sensitive employees under the U.S. Department of Transportation and it would be a prudent to mandate a Safety-Carve-Out for all safety sensitive employees whether DOT or non Dot.

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