Podcast,
44 MINS

Marijuana in Trucking – Big Rig Banter Ep. 14

April 04, 2018

Can truckers smoke marijuana? Troy and Connor discuss the current state of legalization and how it intersects with the trucking industry. We’ll hear from Lauren C. Davis, Attorney at Law and expert on current marijuana laws to discuss what truckers need to know about consuming this controversial herb!

Mentioned Links:

University of Iowa Study

Research on CBD

Cannabis Legalization Map

Info on Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana in Trucking – Big Rig Banter Ep. 14 – Full Transcript

Music – Whether you’re hitting the road or kicking back in the cab, it’s time to take a load off with BigRigBanter, powered by AllTruckJobs.com, your source for finding the trucking jobs drivers really want. Get ready to shift into gear and let the conversations roll.

Connor: Hello, and welcome to the 14th episode of BigRigBanter. I’m your co-host, Connor Smith.

Troy: And I’m Troy Diffenderfer.

Connor: And today we have a very interesting new episode for you. It’s all about cannabis and the driving industry, the different aspects of the emerging legal cannabis industry throughout the country, and how it matches up with commercial driving.

Troy: That’s right. 4/20’s just around the corner and we thought, what better way to celebrate than to have an episode dedicated towards the cannabis industry and the trucking industry intersecting?

Connor: That’s right. There are a lot of interesting intersections here, and lots of issues that drivers face in legal states and also non-legal states. So, today we’re gonna be addressing some of those concerns, but first, we’re going to get into some recent news topics.

Music

Connor: Okay, so our first topic for today is, of course, keeping up on the ELD waivers and mandate that are making their way through the U.S. House. Last month on March 21st, the House released the text of a 1.3 billion dollar spending bill that funds the U.S. government through the end of the 2018 fiscal year. Notably, for trucking, it exempts livestock and insect haulers from the electronic logging device mandate through the end of September. Some of the other concerns over this bill include the fact that reforms on driver pay and brakes sought by some trucking groups like the ATA, that’s the American Trucking Associations, have been skipped over, at least for now. The ATA and the Western States Trucking Association had lobbied for Congress to include a so-called Federal Authority Provision, also known as the Denham Amendment, and this was meant to rein in states’ authority in regulating driver’s work schedules. Essentially, what this provision would do would be to block states from requiring carriers to give drivers paid meal and rest breaks, and protect carriers from being required to pay drivers for non-driving tasks. It’s been said that this provision could still be added into the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 via the amendment process, however, that all depends on how this bill ultimately plays out.

Troy: So the topic I have today was a bill that was just introduced to the house last month. It is the Developing Responsible Individuals for Vibrant Economy, or the Drive Safe Act, and essentially, it would allow interstate trucking opportunities to the people between ages 18 and 21, and this was introduced by two Republicans: Duncan Hunter from California and Trey Hollingsworth from Indiana. It would essentially require these drivers to log 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time with an experienced driver in the cab after earning a CDL, and they basically go on to say in a press release that the Drive Safe Act would help address the industry-wide driver shortage. ATA reported last year that there’s a shortage of about 50,000 drivers, and the American Transportation Research Institute publishes separate studies on driver issues and motor carrier issues. Their most recent analysis revealed that driver shortage topped both those lists as the most pressing issue. So, as well as an aging workforce, these politicians believe that this bill would help combat the driver shortage, but I’m sure, on the other hand, many drivers will say that they’re too young or inexperienced. So it’s definitely a bill to keep an eye out. It’ll definitely be polarizing, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on that bill as it goes through the legislative process. But Connor, I know you have an article talking about an interesting survey that the ATA recently did.

Connor: That’s right! And so our next news topic is talking about the outrageous overcharging on the rise for towing crashed trucks, as reported by the American Trucking Associations’ newest survey. Reports of outrageous overcharging for non-consensual towing of damaged heavy-duty trucks and trailers removed from crash scenes are on the rise in some states, according to a recent survey by the American Trucking Associations. The ATA was quoted as saying “non-consensual towing is an area that federal law specifically leaves to state control, but few states have any regulation at all.” The survey drew from 169 respondents from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and they really started to detail the process for towing crashed trucks, and just what tow companies are putting on the bills and how they’re really overcharging drivers in a lot of situations. Essentially, the process goes something like this: a non-consensual towing generally occurs when a police officer on the site of a crash contacts a towing company from a list of rotated companies to clear the roadway of damaged vehicles, trailers, and even cargo at times. And even though there are things like dash cams and police records, these haven’t necessarily stopped towing companies from charging drivers over-the-top fees just to not only recover their vehicles, but have the vehicle towed to an impoundment location. In response to this report, the Towing and Recovery Association of America, Incorporated said in a statement that the vast majority of towing companies have honest billing procedures. However, the fact that few states have limited power in determining towing regulations and there aren’t any federal regulations set in place means that high tow and recovery bills are seen in many states across the country. Some of the highest include bills in Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia, costing as much as 250,000 dollars, 154,000 dollars, and 185,000, respectively. However, there is some good news. After several years of truckers lobbying and educating state officials and legislators, Colorado’s Public Utility Commission began setting the maximum hourly rates for non-consensual tows and cargo storage. This is in an effort to help eliminate these crazy fees, and give more power back to the truckers rather than tow companies. This will be effective January 1st of 2019, and so we’ll just have to see if other states follow in Colorado’s footsteps. But now on to our main topic for the day: cannabis in the driving industry. It’s all throughout the United States in many different ways. It’s hailed by many as a wonder drug and a scourge of society by others. So, what is the deal? What is this stuff, where does it come from, what does it do? Today, we’re gonna be discussing all of those aspects in different ways but, Troy, why don’t you give us a very, very brief history of cannabis as a plant, and generally what it is?

Troy: Yeah, the history and science are really interesting, through my research. Did you know that cannabis has been around since 3,000 B.C.?

Connor: That’s pretty crazy.

Troy: Yeah, that’s right. The Chinese were actually using cannabis as a medicine 5,000 years ago, and while it’s certainly transformed in that time, the science behind how it affects the mind and body hasn’t really changed. Yeah, the strains have gotten stronger that’s for sure, but pretty much how they affect you is still the same as it was 5,000 years ago, which is crazy. One of the biggest reasons that cannabis is slowly becoming more and more common is because of the versatility it provides. We’ll hit on the hemp industry for sure, talking about textiles and the uses of just the hemp plant in general, but many use cannabis as a tonic to help dull the pain or help them sleep, and others use it to actually increase appetite, and some studies even shown that it may help vision.

Connor: Absolutely, and there’s all sorts of new things coming out about the use of cannabis as an antispasmodic for people who have epilepsy or seizures, things of that nature. So clearly, like you said, it seems pretty versatile in terms of being a medicinal plant, and so we have to mention, what are the medicinal compounds in this plant, and researchers have identified two cannabinoid receptors: the CB1, predominantly present in the nervous system, connective tissues, gonads, glands, and organs; and CB2, predominantly found in the immune system and associated with its structures.

Troy: And when we’re saying receptors, we’re basically saying things in your body that is going to latch on to that THC. That THC is going to enter your system or the CBD, or any part of the cannabis plant is going to enter your system, and it needs something to latch onto, and that’s what we’re talking about these receptors.

Connor: And so, the THC is the active compound that makes you feel high or gives you those pain relieving qualities. And so, like you said Troy, this compound binds to receptors in our body. Although it’s been shown in various studies that they don’t have nearly as addictive or harmful properties as commonly used opioids such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, that kind of thing. And while it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, it’s something definitely that you must consult your doctor about if it’s being used in a medicinal sense, but again, just the versatility of how people have used it over time, over many thousands of years and in the modern day, is definitely garnering lots of attention for this plant.

Troy: Yeah, and while we do wish we could say it was the wonder drug that’s gonna cure everything, the fact of the matter is we just don’t have all the research there. We don’t know all the effects it could have on the body and mind. As much as we’d like to champion this wonder drug, we still have to think about it realistically and realize that we still don’t know the harm it could do in the long run.

Connor: That’s true, just because of the fact that research on this had kind of been stopped for such a long time because it was made federally illegal in the United States several decades ago, and the whole war on drugs and that situation, but the floodgates are back open and people are, again, in legal states like Colorado and Washington, people are able to start doing real scientific experiments on this plant once again. And so, hopefully, we’ll have all of those nitty-gritty answers as far as the human biology and how we respond to it, and what the dangers and risks and benefits are.

Troy: Yeah, and I think that’s important. Whether it’s good or bad, just doing research and really finding out what it can do, whether good or bad.

Connor: Absolutely! So then we get into the concept of, when this stuff is legal, and as it is legal in many states, how does it affect driving? How does it affect things that truckers do in their daily lives? If you’ve tried traditional medicines and they don’t work for you so you’ve turned to cannabis, can you use it and still be a commercial driver, and does it actually impair your ability to operate a vehicle? I mean, that said, it’s not recommended. I don’t think anyone recommends that you should use cannabis and then drive a vehicle. However, one of the main issues is that, unlike alcohol, it stays in your system for a much longer period of time, and even though it’s present in your urine or blood or breath or whatever, it may not be affecting you from a psychological standpoint. And so, that’s the main discrepancy I think a lot of drivers have. Really anyone who uses cannabis will tell you that it’s trying to balance that science of how the plant works in a body with your profession and what you need to accomplish on the job. And so, a recent study from the University of Iowa is actually looking at this very issue, comparing cannabis usage with alcohol usage while driving, trying to extrapolate what it means to be impaired while under the influence of alcohol and what it means while smoking cannabis. Although this is just preliminary research, they are indicating that there is impairment after consuming both substances. Obviously alcohol, we know drunk driving is a gigantic, horrible issue, but many people still dispute whether or not smoking while driving is as bad or worse, or what the deal is and basically, this research is trying to figure that out. Basically, the study is looking at how vaporized cannabis orally ingested affects someone’s ability to drive, and it was shown that there is significant impairment for drivers with blood concentrations of 13.1 micrograms per liter, which is over twice the legal limit for THC in states like Washington and Colorado. So, that’s to say that these people were incredibly stoned when they are taking this test, obviously, because if legal states have a legal limit and you’re double that, I would imagine that you probably, first of all, shouldn’t be driving in the first place, but in terms of taking a test, you will not pass very well.

Troy: And probably really hungry too.

Connor: Saw McDonald’s out of the corner of their eye and started weaving that way. But all jokes aside, I mean, this is really to show that driving under the influence of cannabis is a scientific no-no, but that doesn’t necessarily close the case, because there are a lot of different ways that, first of all, people consume this and, the effects that it has, everyone responds differently, and everyone uses for a different reason.

Troy: Yeah, you’ve mentioned legal states and non-legal states; so let’s take a closer look at some of the current laws in various states that allow marijuana. Currently there’s 30 states, including Washington DC, that have at least some sort of law that allows the use of marijuana in some shape or form. So far, eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 22 others have made broad laws that cover the decriminalization or the medical use of marijuana. While many states are slowly pushing to join the group, it’s tough to tell whether all 50 states will legalize the use of marijuana. We’ll provide a link in the show notes, though, to a map that will show whether or not your state has any marijuana laws in place.

Connor: And us being in Pennsylvania here means that we’re seeing the very beginnings of the medical marijuana industry, and that’s really kind of encouraging to see because Pennsylvania has been a…you know, it’s the Keystone State, usually a pretty conservative state in most places.

Troy: Soon it’ll be the KeySTONED State.

Connor: Very soon it will be, yes, but you know, it’s called the Keystone State because the Commonwealth here sort of latches together all of the South and the Northeast in terms of historical, political ideas and movements, and that sort of thing. So, hopefully we’re a good indicator species or indicator state that this is gonna continue on its upward trend, but I guess one of the main issues here is that it’s not legal on a federal level. So, while you have these state laws you don’t have the federal government recognizing, or even rescheduling, marijuana as actual, legitimate medicine, and it’s really kind of funny because Washington DC actually did legalize marijuana for recreational use or possession. It’s decriminalized entirely, so it’s such an odd thing that our nation’s capital is actually…you can get weed there, but it’s not legal on a federal level. It’s just a really weird dynamic.

Troy: But yeah, let’s talk about how the trucking industry comes into play with marijuana. So before 2012, the DOT, the Department of Transportation, didn’t even have to think about regulations regarding THC since it was illegal in all 50 states. It was just like cocaine or heroin or any other major drug out there. It was a given that drivers were not allowed to consume marijuana. As many states began to legalize marijuana in some shape or form, many drivers assume that the regulations will be changed. However, it’s over five years and the DOT still has not moved far from their stance on marijuana. Both federal and state laws prohibit the use of marijuana in the trucking industry, but many organizations are still looking to push legislature through at least state government, and here to shed some more light on that is Lauren Davis. She is a lawyer that deals with the marijuana industry, and she was able to provide some insight into the relationship between the trucking industry and the marijuana industry, and here’s that interview.

Music

Connor: Okay, so we’re here with Lauren Davis, attorney at law from Denver, Colorado, here today to talk to us about how the trucking industry and marijuana laws intersect. Lauren, thanks so much for coming on the show.

Lauren: My pleasure.

Connor: So our first question, it’s a really basic, kind of general question here, how have the trucking industry and current marijuana laws intersected up until this point?

Lauren: You know, unfortunately, I’d say nothing has really changed. Trucking laws still, you know, your driver’s license is still governed by the state in which you have your driver’s license but as the trucker’s know, as you drive across state lines, you’re governed by the laws that apply in that particular state. And so we still, as it relates to marijuana, have a patchwork of laws, rules, and regulations as it relates to marijuana, and really as far as the truckers need to be concerned, none of that matters. We’ll get to it as we talk further, but the bad, sad, unfortunate news here is that truckers simply should not be using marijuana. They put their livelihood at grave risk.

Troy: And why do you think there hasn’t really been much traction? Whether it’s the Department of Transportation, or federal law, or state law, do you think it’s still kind of this war on drugs mindset, or do you think it’s partially just it would be so confusing with the various states having different laws, and trucking over state borders, why do you think things haven’t really picked up traction, even though we’re definitely seeing more and more states pursue legalization?

Lauren: Because nothing’s changed on the federal level. It’s still illegal to buy, use, possess, consume marijuana at the federal level, and most of these trucking companies, or a lot of the trucking companies, would say they travel across state lines, they’re engaged in interstate commerce, and they are subject to substantial federal regulations. And so, from a safety perspective, federal law aside, the other issue is that it is still illegal in every state to drive under the influence of marijuana, even in Colorado. There is no state in which it is legal to consume and drive while impaired, and we can get further into the science behind it, but there’s definitely a patchwork of laws that vary state-by-state about what is tolerated, and some states have a zero-tolerance policy. So, if a trucker got pulled over for speeding or violating any traffic law in that state, failure to signal for a turn and they, for whatever reason, they were suspected of drinking or consuming marijuana and they got tested, they, in the states that have zero tolerance, it wouldn’t matter that it wasn’t active THC in their system. Any residual THC will result in a DUI case against them.

Connor: Right, and so, even for truckers in legal states who might be prescribed marijuana for medical purposes, is there any difference in that, if they were to get pulled over, even if they’re not intoxicated while driving?

Lauren: My short answer is no. Obviously every case is going to vary based on the facts, but in the zero-tolerance states, zero tolerance is zero tolerance, and you can present as a defense that you didn’t consume it in that state, you’re not a resident of that state, but whether or not a prosecutor is going to care is a different question. And, based on the elements of the crime that they need to prove, that’s not something they need to prove. They don’t have to prove when you consumed, they don’t have to prove why it’s showing up in your bloodstream, they just need to prove that it’s in your system, and so, it would depend on where you were caught. In Colorado, we’re seeing a huge legalization backlash where, even here in Colorado where it’s legal for some purposes, I have started cautioning people not to think of it as being legal. You really need to think of it as: it is still illegal unless you are doing it in very set, limited, defined circumstances. And just a little bit of background about me, I’ve been a prosecutor for ten years and since then, I have been an attorney and focused practice on marijuana and advocate for legalization. So, I’m a huge advocate for marijuana legalization, decriminalization, etc., so understand when I’m saying these things it hurts, you know, it makes me sad to see the backlash that we’re dealing with, but it is an unfortunate reality. And so, people coming in and thinking it’s legal in all these states, we’re home free, that’s just not the case. The real way to think about it is it’s not legal under every set of circumstances, is only not illegal if you are doing it within the very narrowly defined parameters of that state’s law. And truckers are mostly dealing with an interstate reality, and because the laws vary from state to state, it’s very easy to get caught up in a mess in another state where, even though it was legal where you did, it’s not legal where you got pulled over.

Troy: And have we seen an increase in accidents across these legal states? I know that’s a big point of contention. I know there’s been a few studies out but, personally, you do you think we’ve seen an increase?

Lauren: So the naysayers, you know, the people who are still fighting for prohibition, the people who are still fighting the war on drugs, they are still arguing that we’ve seen a rise in accidents and a rise in problems on the road, but those studies, their claims, are not supported by NHTSA studies, they’re not supported by Colorado Bureau of Investigation studies, so the studies that I have seen actual data on are not supporting that conclusion, despite the fact that we have naysayers and anti-marijuana folks who are claiming that there’s a rise, but what they’re claiming is not supported by the statistic.

Connor: That’s good to know at least. So, our next question is, maybe a trucker, someone driving commercially, has tried other types of painkillers or medications for certain conditions, and they only find that marijuana and medical cannabis works for them. What steps could they take as advocates and also industry truckers in the process of legalizing or pushing for legalization?

Lauren: You know, one big thing that they really need to push for is understanding of their employers, because at the end of the day, as far as I see, truckers are really combating two issues: one, as they’re driving on the road they have the police to contend with but, the other are the workplace safety concerns of the employers. So, let’s say truckers said the brakes didn’t work and he gets into a fender bender, and it could be something super minor, the employer’s gonna pull him in for a drug test, and if the employer is not…employers, I assume, because it’s given the federal issues, most employers have a zero-tolerance policy. And so, if the employers are not understanding or sympathetic to the health concerns and the health needs of the truckers, it doesn’t matter that you haven’t committed a “crime” if you’re violating your employer’s policies against using. You’re gonna lose your job, and so the employers need to become more sympathetic to the issues and understand that the trucker can use responsibly without endangering himself, other people on the road, or the company. But, you know, unfortunately, as sympathetic as the employer might be, you’re still up against the insurance company, and so whether the employer is sympathetic or not, the insurance folks are definitely not going to be sympathetic. Insurance companies are not known for their sympathy, they stay in business by denying claims. And so, that, I think, is really at the heart of the problems for the individuals who are driving, is that it’s the insurance companies that are really setting some of these policies and setting the standards, and that’s not going to change in my opinion, because insurance companies are not sympathetic companies. They’re for-profit, moneymaking machines that basically make their money by stealing our money and denying claims. So, I think that really, if you want to get down to where the pedal hits the metal or, you know, what is the real problem at the heart of it, it’s the insurance issue. It’s sort of like the banking issue for marijuana dispensaries. Here in Colorado, we hear all the time that a ton of these banks would love to work with the marijuana business. You know, our local branches, they have no problem with marijuana money. Half the people who work at the bank, you know, supported Amendment 64, supported legalization, use marijuana themselves, but it’s not their policy. They’re not the ones who create the policy, they’re stuck with the policies that are in place, and on the banking side, the policies that are in place are coming from the threats of the federal government to create problems for banks that take marijuana money. And so, you know, it’s that institutional, corporate, cultural issue that I see for truckers, because it’s the insurance companies that are really, I think, at the root cause of the problems and that are driving the employer’s policies on the topic.

Troy: And Lauren, I don’t know if you can shed any light on this, but what about the actual transportation of the product? Whether it’s hemp or cannabis, I’m sure it needs to be transported somehow. Have there been any legal issues when it comes to truckers actually transporting the product, or is there marijuana trucking companies out there? We’ve tried to do some research online but we didn’t turn up much.

Lauren: So, it’s going to vary state-by-state. I can at least speak to Colorado so, you know, one big thing I’d say is that truckers cannot carry marijuana across state lines. In any state where it’s legal, you basically have it within your state where it’s legal, it’s not legal to take it out of the state is issue number one. Issue number two is it would depend on whether the trucker is working for an interstate company or an intrastate company, about the company’s policies on what they’re transporting. Here in Colorado, we have a separate license that allows a licensed company, it’s called a Transporter License that allows the licensed company to transport marijuana between licensed facilities, and that is a regulated license. Just to give you a brief overview, the only people who can buy, grow, sell, you know, move large quantities other than personal use quantities are people with a license. Once I buy it from a licensed dispensary, I could have my ounce legally and then I can travel with it within the state as I see fit, but more than that for moving people are moving it between these license companies, you need a special license to do that. And so, it’s sort of like a Brinks armored car service, and these are companies that have been created for the purpose of transporting marijuana from licensed facility to licensed facility. There’s no delivery allowed in Colorado, so it’s not transporting it from a licensed facility to a consumer, it’s strictly, like I said, more like a Brinks armored car type service.

Connor: Absolutely, that makes total sense. Well, Lauren, thanks so much for sharing all that really great information with our listeners. Even for truckers who aren’t in legal states and those who are, it’s really just good to have a professional perspective on, you know, how to navigate this landscape. So before we go, is there anything else you’d like to add about trucking and marijuana, or just the fight for legalization in general?

Lauren: You know, like I said, everybody thinks that marijuana’s been legalized in the state of Colorado and even here, the fight is far from won. We’re making headway every election and the tide is turning, but it’s going to take common-sense advocacy, policymaking, and unfortunately, truckers, due to the nature of their livelihood, I think are putting their jobs and themselves at risk by consuming, even if it is legal. And again, you know, it pains me to say that because I am a huge proponent, I think people, especially when they’re not on duty, should be allowed to do what they want in their spare time, but the unfortunate reality when it comes to marijuana is that it stays in our system for a long time, and I think, unfortunately, it’s going to take a long time for the laws to catch up to the reality of the landscape. And so, I advise truckers to be very cautious and really think long and hard before they use and sadly, even though we know that narcotics and opioids are much more dangerous and worse for our bodies and systems, until federal law changes, truckers are in a more solid legal landscape and on more solid legal footing to keep using those. And I am certainly am not an advocate for them, I think they’re awful substances, but it is a really sad state of affairs when we’re dealing with the rights of truckers. I guess there’s one last thing that I think would be important for truckers to know, the employment rights issues vary from state to state, and Colorado for instance, you have no employment protection for any employee who’s using marijuana on the job. There’s a really sad court case that went through our system where a man who was paralyzed who was a medical marijuana patient who was using on his own time at home, there was zero allegation or concern that it was interfering with his job performance, but his employer asked to submit to a random drug test and he failed, tested positive for marijuana, and he not only lost his job, but was denied unemployment benefits because there’s zero employment protection for use of marijuana in Colorado. And so, not every state has adopted that as its rule, but when I speak in this voice of doom and gloom, that is one of the reasons, is that this guy was exercising his constitutional right in the state of Colorado, but that constitutional right to use is independent and apart from his employment protection, and he was found to have no employment protections in Colorado, and because he was fired for cause, he was not entitled to unemployment. Even though, like I said, there was zero evidence or allegations that it interfered with his job performance. It wasn’t like he using on the job, it wasn’t like it was affecting his ability to work. Yeah so super, super sad case, but I think it really drives home the point of why I’m not being as positive as I’d love to be.

Connor: Well we’ve been speaking with Lauren Davis, attorney at law from Denver, Colorado. Lauren, thanks so much for coming on the show. It was a pleasure talking with you, and it’s definitely an issue that we’re gonna be keeping tabs on, especially from the trucker’s perspective, but all of what you said so far, it’s just good for our listeners and truckers in general to know. So again, we thank you for your time and it’s been great.

Lauren: Well, I hope the next time we speak there is a major change at the federal level and I can eat my words.

Connor: We wish that as well. Thanks so much.

Lauren: Thanks, guys.

Music

Troy: Alright, now that we’ve talked about the legal side of marijuana and how it interacts with the trucking industry, let’s talk about some of the illegal tactics that are going on. Well, there are a few trucking companies that actually legally truck hemp for a living. There are often many more companies doing it illegally and getting caught, but I thought we’d close this topic out by talking about some of the resources for managing cannabis. While we don’t know all its properties, it still can be harmful and it can become addictive. So, Connor, what have you got for us?

Connor: Right so, as you mentioned, we don’t know all the effects of cannabis just yet, and everyone is different in the way that they respond to substances, the way that they affect their lives, and their intentions for using something. And so, while many people can manage their habits and do so in a safe way in the comfort of their own home or with communal or familial support or just acceptance of it, for others cannabis can become a negative influence in their life if it’s something that people are using in place of other healthy activities. Basically, if it’s preventing you from leading a happy, healthy, social, normal life, it’s being abused in a certain way. And really, we’re no experts here in terms of addiction medicine or anything like that, but I will just say that, as far as the chemical addiction of marijuana versus something like opioids, it’s drastically different. You know, someone who is smoking cannabis regularly and then having to stop cold turkey is not going to experience the same withdrawal symptoms as someone ceasing to use heroin or prescription opioids. It’s much more of a dangerous situation if you do end up cutting out opioids cold turkey, it can actually be life-threatening. So, right away, marijuana has, in some ways, the potential for abuse, but that depends on so many different factors like your family history or your medical history, your mental health now and in the past, so really you have to treat it on an individual basis. But just know that if it is interfering with your life in a negative way, it’s not a bad thing to seek help, seek rehab as one option, or cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy, things like that to help you break out of your negative cycle or your habits. We’ll provide some links in the description below that you can click and you can follow and find some help if you need it.

Troy: Yeah, thanks Connor, and truckers, we hope this 4/20 episode and this marijuana in the trucking industry episode really provided some information. This is an issue that’s going to continue and be in the news frequently, so we just want to provide as much information as possible and really hit on these controversial subjects, and we know it’s gonna have a lot of you truckers talking, so feel free to comment below or hit us up on Facebook to voice your opinion. We love to hear the opinions of many of our listeners. But Connor, why don’t we get into some fun topics before we close things out?

Connor: Alright, so for our first fun topic, we’re just going to go through some cannabis slang words rapid-fire here, so just try to keep up with us. The first one is African broccoli.

Troy and Connor (alternating): Antiguan rocket, Barney, BC, bin bag, bishop, bloop, Bob, bo-body, bongo, cabbage, bread, chiba, bubble kush, comic books, Burger King, Devil’s lettuce, dankenstein, Dan K. Boodenhash, dubsack, doobage, DVDs, fire, electric poo ha, goofy boots, Guitar Hero, greenest of the green, herbsteins, haskell, honey boo boo, headies, jazz cabbage, hey man, jibber, kind bud, Kevin Bacon, lemon G, loud, magic, Mary Jane, moss, Muggles, new guys, nugs, pot, ramen, reefer, rodeo, shweed, shwag, Shakira, shuzzit, spank, soap bar, stank, stuff, tea, tweed, whacky tobacky, trees, Xbox, wizard, bunk, zig zag, dutchy, Mary, and skunk.

Troy: Alright I think that sums it up. If you hear any of those terms, you’ll know what they’re talking about. We hope you’ve kept a list at hand so you can identify when people are talking about marijuana.

Connor: Now you’re all hip. Or hep maybe, if you’re from the 1920s. So, cool, that was a fun one. That was a fun time. So, our next fun topic is the best and worst bumper stickers that we have seen on the road. Maybe we haven’t seen them in real life…

Troy: But we’ve seen them in our quick Google search.

Connor: Exactly. One that I saw that was particularly weird it was a bumper sticker that just said: “I’m not wearing pants.” We don’t need to know that, and we would find that out I mean, I guess truckers would find that out, so maybe that is a good one to have. If you’re up above a car and you see that, do not look. They are probably doing something unsavory if they’re deciding not to wear pants in the car. Where are they going without pants? Nobody knows.

Troy: And then this one I think Connor and I can both appreciate. We’ve probably seen it before living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It says “honk if you’re Amish,” which is a little bit cruel if you think about it because I’m not sure if horse and buggies do have horns that they can honk.

Connor: I don’t believe they do.

Troy: But maybe they do, maybe they’re talking about those scooters that the Amish ride, so it’s definitely possible, but that’s definitely one we’ve probably seen around our parts.

Connor: Oof. And another one that was pretty bad pretty, as I’ve said, unsavory reads, “lost your cat? Try looking under my tires.” Yikes.

Troy: Ouch.

Connor: Takes a special kind of person to revel in the fact that they just murdered your pet.

Troy: Alright I do appreciate this one I just found, it says “sorry for driving so close in front of you”…no, that’s a lame one.

Connor: Oh, I get it. It took me a little bit, but I get it. Here’s a good one: “nobody’s perfect, and I’m a nobody.” That’s a little self-defeating but hey, if you’re willing to stick that on the back of your car, more power to you. Here’s a good one: “I was abducted by space aliens, and I vote.”

Troy: Wow!

Connor: So responsible of you, crazy person. But yeah, if you guys have seen any weird or crazy bumper stickers on the road, leave them in the comments below or reach out to us on Facebook. Let us know what your favorites were, let us know what your least favorites were, which ones you loved, which ones you hated, but anyway, that’s about all we have for you guys today. Hope you enjoyed the show this time around, and next time we’re gonna be talking about everything owner-operators: some of their challenges, some of the benefits to being an owner/operator, and everything that comes with that, so look forward to next month, but again, thanks for listening. I’m your co-host, Connor Smith.

Troy: And I’m your co-host, Troy Diffenderfer.

Connor: And this has been BigRigBanter.

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