New York Taxi Drivers Will No Longer Be Tested For Weed

In a controversial new decision, the NYC Taxi Commission will no longer be testing its cab drivers for marijuana use.

Following the recent legalization of marijuana in New York, the Taxi and Limousine Commission in New York has decided to no longer include THC in its drug tests for drivers.

"Due to the change in the law, going forward, the TLC will no longer test for marijuana in required annual drug tests," said the Commission to the New York Post.

However, the cessation in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) testing is not supposed to be an endorsement of driving while stoned, says the Taxi Commission, stating that "While the use of marijuana is now legal for adults, it is still the law that TLC-licensed Drivers must be sober when they operate a vehicle."

The move is considered controversial because, while it's currently unclear precisely how much more likely a stoned driver is to have a driving accident, driving sober is always preferable to driving intoxicated.

Some studies have found that driving while stoned increases the likelihood of accidents between roughly 6% to 15%.

However, the active compound in cannabis THC can stay in the body for up to a month after consumption, and with marijuana now legal in New York, drivers may consume cannabis one weekend and test positive for it in a shift a month later.

Without a roadside drug test that can acutely detect recently ingested THC, states that legalize cannabis are in a bind as to how they can ensure drivers remain sober without penalizing those that consumed cannabis a month ago.

This is one of the major hurdles facing cannabis legalization and was identified as such in Australia's Senate Inquiry to medical cannabis legalization, with doctors hesitant to prescribe medicinal marijuana to their patients out of fear they'll lose their license after a roadside drug test.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.