February 5, 2016

Marijuana Legalization Bill Raises Concerns over Workplace Safety

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The Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs hear testimony regarding marijuana legalization.

Montpelier (Feb 3) – “We need to drill down on liability,” Dave Molloy from Bellavance Trucking Co. urged the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs Wednesday morning. Molloy stressed his concern over employer liability and the lack of an effective test for monitoring THC impairment levels.


Molloy, and many other business owners, are concerned about the effects on workplace saftey the legalization of marijuana might have. The proposed bill, S-241, passed through the Senate Judiciary last week and is expected to make it through the Senate by the end of the month. Molloy is concerned that without an effective way to measure impairment, it would be nearly impossible to determine if marijuana was at fault in a workplace accident. THC remains in your fat cells for many weeks or months – which could result in a positive drug test in someone who hasn’t used in months.


Molloy gave an example of a tractor-trailer driver who was involved in an accident of no fault of his own. A car pulled out in front of the truck and the trailer was unable to stop in time. The driver of the other car was killed instantly. The driver of the trailer was subsequently drug tested and tested positive for marijuana use. The driver was not at fault in this accident, but because there isn’t a test to determine impairment levels, there is no way to prove that marijuana was not at play in this accident. Molloy’s point is that the company the driver worked for is now liable for this accident and subsequent costs. Molloy’s argument may convince legislators to hold off on legalization until an accurate THC test is developed.

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