New York City taxi drivers will no longer be tested for weed. In response to the concerns of advocates of the medicated driving, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has stated that it will stop testing drivers for cannabis consumption, effective immediately.
In a move that will make New York’s cabbies happy and its police force furious, the state’s Taxi and Limousine Commission announced Thursday that it had unanimously voted to end its policy of drug testing for THC. (Let’s just say New York’s taxi companies had been lobbying for the change for a long time.)
Louis O’Neil 4 May 2 min read
According to a controversial new ruling, New York’s taxi commission will no longer test its drivers for marijuana use.
Following the recent legalization of marijuana in New York City, the Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York has decided to no longer include THC in its drug tests for drivers.
As a result of a change in the law, the TLC will no longer look for marijuana in mandatory annual drug tests, the commission informed the New York Post.
But passing the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) test is not an admission of driving under the influence, says the Taxi Commission, noting that while marijuana use is now legal for adults, the law still stipulates that TLC-licensed drivers must be sober while driving.
This measure is considered controversial because, although it is currently unclear to what extent a driver who is stoned will be involved in an accident, sober driving is always preferable to drunk driving.
Some studies have shown that drinking and driving increases the risk of an accident by about 6-15%.
However, the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, can remain in the body for up to a month after use, and since marijuana is now legal in New York, drivers can use cannabis on a weekend and be tested a month later.
In the absence of roadside drug tests to identify acutely admitted THC, states that have legalized cannabis are in a quandary over how to ensure drivers are sober without penalizing those who used cannabis a month ago.
This is one of the main obstacles to cannabis legalization pointed out by the Australian Senate Survey on the Legalization of Medical Cannabis: Doctors are reluctant to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients for fear of losing their license after a roadside drug test.
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