Did Marijuana Testing Cause the Truck Driver Shortage?

Chris Harvey, head of equity strategy at Wells Fargo, believes that the current trucker shortage has increased resulting from marijuana usage, whether it be failed drug testing or drivers leaving as a result of impending drug testing.  Harvey stated at a recent conference, “It’s really about drug testing. We’ve legalized marijuana in some states but, obviously, not all … What we’ve done is we’re excluding a significant portion of that trucker industry.” 


Marajuana use is becoming more of a norm in our society. With the overwhelming driver shortage, drivers are having more and more power to push for their rights. Currently, 18 states have cleared cannabis for recreational use as well as 37 for medical purposes.  On the contrary, the trucking industry is more strict when it comes to their drug regulations.  The FMCSA restricts drug positive drivers immediately and adds them to a federal database to prevent them from being hired by other companies.


Government data from December 2021 indicates 60,000 drivers tested positive for marijuana use in the past two years.  These drivers could help with the 80,000 driver shortage. 

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