WERE 300 ‘DAGGA DRIVERS’ FIRED UNFAIRLY?
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.