Legislative Alert: DOT Adds Opioids, Roadside Testing, Child Sues Feds [Video]
- DOT drug testing updates
- New Roadside Drug Tests Start in Michigan
- Colorado Girl Suing to Legalize Marijuana
DOT Drug Testing Updates
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has finalized a new rule that will require truck drivers, railroad engineers, pilots, air traffic controllers and others to be tested for synthetic opioid use. For decades the DOT has only done a 5-panel drug test for marijuana, cocaine, PCP, amphetamines and some opiates. The amended rule will now include four very commonly prescribed semi-synthetic opioids in all DOT drug tests. The change is in direct response to the much-talked-about opioid crisis afflicting the country. These revisions make the DOT testing consistent with other federal drug testing programs. This change was originally proposed in January of 2017 and will go into effect on January 1, 2018.
New Roadside Drug Tests Start in Michigan
A pilot program is being tested in five Michigan counties over the next year with the hope of reducing the growing number of drug-involved traffic deaths. When suspected “drugged drivers” are pulled over, a specially trained officer will administer a mouth-swab test to see if they are under the influence of several controlled substances like marijuana, cocaine, opiates and several others. Preliminary results take six to eight minutes. Officers will also look for other signs of impairment including bloodshot eyes, unusual blood pressure and how well subjects do in field sobriety tests. Drivers who refuse to take the roadside test will be ticketed or arrested on the spot. About a dozen other states are already using this type of testing.
Colorado Girl Suing to Legalize Marijuana
A 12-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions over the country’s marijuana policy. Alexis Bortell was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was very little. No traditional medications stopped her seizures, and her doctors suggested brain surgery. Her family moved to Colorado so she could try medical marijuana. Two and a half years after starting on a liquid form of THC, she has been completely seizure free. Now she wants the drug to be legal in all 50 states because she can’t even travel home to Texas for a visit without her parents facing arrest and loss of custody. Another child, a military veteran and a former Denver Broncos player have joined the lawsuit. A judge has already thrown out the federal government’s motion to dismiss.