WERE 300 ‘DAGGA DRIV­ERS’ FIRED UN­FAIRLY?

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - • Al­wyn.Viljoen@wit­ness.co.za

LAST week’s dis­missal of 300 driv­ers who al­legedly tested pos­i­tive for cannabis use by a Pre­to­ria-based out­sourc­ing com­pany raised a lot of ques­tions from more scrupu­lous fleet man­agers.

Arnoux Maré, MD of In­no­va­tive Staffing So­lu­tions, said in a me­dia state­ment a truck driver “un­der the in­flu­ence of cannabis can be likened to a non-co­her­ent per­son bar­relling a 60-tonne mis­sile down the road at 80 to 100km per hour”.

But when asked in writ­ing which test was used, how this in­flu­ence man­i­fested, and what cannaboids were found, the com­pany did not re­ply. This may be be­cause, other than see­ing some­one ob­vi­ously stoned with red eyes and droopy lids, there is as yet no re­li­able test to show if a per­son is “un­der the in­flu­ence” of cannabis.

This is be­cause the me­tab­o­lite that is tested for en­ters a per­son’ fat, from where it is re­leased into the blood­stream for up to six weeks af­ter now legally us­ing cannabis in pri­vate.

While per­sons will test pos­i­tive for cannabis weeks af­ter use, they are no longer “un­der the in­clu­ence”, what­ever this may mean in a court of law. Com­par­a­tive driv­ing tests of driv­ers who smoked cannabis dur­ing these tests also con­sis­tently de­liver mixed re­sults, with reg­u­lar users show­ing no or very lit­tle im­paired driv­ing.

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