Need Advice About Marijuana Testing For CDL Drivers

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John D.'s Comment
member avatar

I'll start by saying I appreciate your time and your advice and I'm really hoping for some open minded people who can give me some advice and NOT just come here to judge.

Also:if you're just coming here to say "drugs are bad" etc please save both our time and don't. (Keep in mind caffeine is a drug-how many of yall "do drugs" really?)

Okay so it's VERY important for you all to know I absolutely do NOT smoke weed and drive. I've been smoking weed since I was 18 and I've never been able to drive while doing so-a normal vehicle-and definitely not a big rig! I'm not stupid.

In fact-I don't even smoke when I'm out on the road because I don't want to risk getting caught with weed in my truck.

I ONLY smoke on my home time. Smoking marijuana is a big deal to me-it's attached to so many things in my life (I.e I won't watch any of my favorite shows w/o it etc). And to many of you that may scream "addict" but I'm anything but. It's a personal choice and my reasoning behind it is a whole other subject on its own and if you have questions about that I will gladly go into it but frankly this post is too long already.

I won't tell you what company I work for but I will say it's one of the bigger ones (as in not family owned etc) and the method of random drug testing is urine analysis.

So the advice I'm looking for is: is it really possible to smoke anxiety free? I've been driving about 6 months and haven't been popped for a random yet but I know it's coming.

And as of now my only plan is to freeze small jars of my own clean urine (because I don't smoke when out on the road-by time I'm home my system is clean again) and then defrost the jar whenever my route includes going to a company property.

Please let me know any experiences you've had with random drug testing or let me know any better ideas or maybe just tell me how stupid I'm being and how so.

It's easy to say, "just stop smoking" but like I mentioned earlier-that's basically saying "stop watching your favorite tv shows-don't listen to any new albums from your favorite bands-don't play and new video games you've been waiting years to come out" etc and I just don't think I can do that.

LIFE IS TOO DAMN SHORT. My father died young and I probably will too.

Thanks!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
My father died young and I probably will too.

Well first of all, don't say that! Don't even think it. You're probably going to live to be 95.

Unfortunately I don't see any way you're going to pull it off even carrying clean urine with you. When they give drug tests they're instructed to keep the door open and watch you to make sure you don't pull any tricks. And of course they do tests on the urine to make sure it's the proper temperature and doesn't show signs that you drank a gallon of water beforehand. They also test for signs of any masking agents. They've been at this game a long time and they've seen a million tricks.

Not to mention, companies know that coming off home time would be the best time to test anyone for drugs or even alcohol. One time I was given a random test just after 8:00 a.m. and they did a breathalyzer test also. I asked the guy, "Do people really fail breathalyzer tests at eight in the morning?" and he said, "You better believe it."

In my opinion you're not going to get away with it for long. I think it's only a matter of time before you get hit with a random at the wrong time. And I'll say this about the anxiety thing - trying to beat the system all the time wears you out after a while. I was always on paper logs and used to cheat on the logs daily. We all did back in the day. And I'll tell ya - that just wears on you. You're always scheming, always worried about getting caught, always trying to make contingency plans in case of random inspections or getting pulled over. It's a lot of stress and it takes some of the fun out of trucking.

Finally one last concern - it seems almost everyone is going to go to hair follicle testing in the coming months and years. The detection is so much better and the prices have come down so much that it's going to become more and more difficult for companies to justify doing urinalysis only. So I think your days are numbered as far as urinalysis goes anyhow.

The fact that many states have now legalized Marijuana and it's proven to have beneficial medicinal effects has taken much of the stigma away from it. But it will never be legal for truckers because of the effects it would have on driving. There are plenty of prescription medications that are perfectly legal for everyday use but will never be approved for trucking.

So it's hard to see much of a future in trucking for anyone who wants to use illegal or unapproved drugs for trucking. I think you're going to have to make a choice one way or the other.

We have a ton of information on drug testing including:

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Suppose you love your dog, Mickey. Suppose your company has a "No Pets" policy. Suppose you really love Mickey, and take him along anyway. This part is not "suppose": you will be anxious that you do not get caught with a dog on your truck. You should either leave the dog with someone to watch him, or get another job.

If you insist on pushing any of the company rules, and are prepared with your little jars to try to get around company rules, here's how to get rid of your anxiety: stop smoking or get a new job.

LIFE IS TOO DAMN SHORT. My father died young and I probably will too.

LIFE IS TOO DAMN SHORT to try to mess with the rules. As for your Dad, live a longer life, for him.

Belluavir's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I wouldnt bet on something like frozen urine. Couldn't imagine what DOT would say if they found your block of **** lol.

I get you're into ganja and I don't blame you, its lovely, but here is the reality of the situation; you have to quit one of them. Either you stop using marijuana completely for the duration of your trucking career, or quit trucking. They just don't go together no matter how responsible you are, this is how the world is and you cant change by simply not following the rules. So you have to figure out which is more important, trucking or marijuana.

Unfortunately for you if you choose trucking, since you are heavy user, its going to take longer than 30 days for your body to be clear of THC, you only shed a couple dozen micrograms per day, so its going to take awhile depending on how much is floating around your blood stream.

If you really must use some kind recreational substance, stick with booze or psychedelics. Alcohol and psychedelics are out of your body in 24 hours and psychedelics are generally not tested for due to expense.

As for you being an addict, it certainly is possible. Addiction is characterized by heavy usage that is disruptive to your life. Your marijuana usage is arguably disruptive, or will be, to your career and therefore your life, and if you cant stop to remedy that issue well... You might be an addict!

If you're at home, smoking weed and watching cartoons when you could be making 40k a year sitting on your ass... You might be an addict!

I'm not judging brother, I love drugs, but I'm putting them aside so I can pursue a cool, unique job for couple years. I think you should do the same, quit now and hopefully you dont get caught and you can keep on truckin'.

Life is chock full of tough decisions and it sounds like this will be big one and I wish you the best of luck with it.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I'll add a couple of things to what the others said. First, you can't plan on having a random only when you're routed through company property. There are lots of places they can have you tested. I've had friends get a QC message to head to a clinic in two hours when they're nowhere near a yard or terminal. Boom! You're busted and you won't be driving a truck for a long time after that.

Second, I get the whole smoking thing. I used to smoke a lot of weed and I felt like you did at the time. I haven't touched it for years now and I don't miss it a bit. It's your choice, but I can say in hindsight that it really wasn't as great as I thought it was. All it did was make me stupid. Literally stupid. I couldn't do math in my head, I couldn't remember some words, I made bad decisions. Not worth the high.

Third, if you're smoking on home time and then driving a big rig a day or two after, you're putting yourself and everyone around you at risk. Since it attaches to your fat cells, it sticks around in your system for a long time. Sure, you're not high, but you're still impaired to some extent. You can feel like you're not, but in fact it still has an effect on reaction and perception time for days afterward. You can google the studies yourself if you want the facts and not just opinions.

So, I'm not judging you or putting you down. I've been there and done that. You seriously need to quit smoking or quit driving a truck. Beating a random doesn't mean you're safe on the road, and right now the way you're doing things, you're not safe on the road for at least a week or two after your home time, especially in a big rig. I know it's not what you want to hear, and you can keep looking for ways to beat the system, but one day it will catch up with you. I just hope it's a random and not a post-accident test.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Here's a true story of what happened to me.

I was driving through central Nebraska on a tight scheduled load going to Minnesota. My DM sent me a message saying "stop in Lincoln at (insert address here) for a mandatory random drug test. You must go. Call me if you have any questions. We expect you there within 30 minutes."

Well, Lincoln was only 20 miles from me! When I got there they did a hair test. This happens quite often.

So put yourself in my shoes. This will catch up to you and when it will, it'll be the end of your trucking career as you know it. I wish you luck sir.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Best Answer!
My father died young and I probably will too.

Well first of all, don't say that! Don't even think it. You're probably going to live to be 95.

Unfortunately I don't see any way you're going to pull it off even carrying clean urine with you. When they give drug tests they're instructed to keep the door open and watch you to make sure you don't pull any tricks. And of course they do tests on the urine to make sure it's the proper temperature and doesn't show signs that you drank a gallon of water beforehand. They also test for signs of any masking agents. They've been at this game a long time and they've seen a million tricks.

Not to mention, companies know that coming off home time would be the best time to test anyone for drugs or even alcohol. One time I was given a random test just after 8:00 a.m. and they did a breathalyzer test also. I asked the guy, "Do people really fail breathalyzer tests at eight in the morning?" and he said, "You better believe it."

In my opinion you're not going to get away with it for long. I think it's only a matter of time before you get hit with a random at the wrong time. And I'll say this about the anxiety thing - trying to beat the system all the time wears you out after a while. I was always on paper logs and used to cheat on the logs daily. We all did back in the day. And I'll tell ya - that just wears on you. You're always scheming, always worried about getting caught, always trying to make contingency plans in case of random inspections or getting pulled over. It's a lot of stress and it takes some of the fun out of trucking.

Finally one last concern - it seems almost everyone is going to go to hair follicle testing in the coming months and years. The detection is so much better and the prices have come down so much that it's going to become more and more difficult for companies to justify doing urinalysis only. So I think your days are numbered as far as urinalysis goes anyhow.

The fact that many states have now legalized Marijuana and it's proven to have beneficial medicinal effects has taken much of the stigma away from it. But it will never be legal for truckers because of the effects it would have on driving. There are plenty of prescription medications that are perfectly legal for everyday use but will never be approved for trucking.

So it's hard to see much of a future in trucking for anyone who wants to use illegal or unapproved drugs for trucking. I think you're going to have to make a choice one way or the other.

We have a ton of information on drug testing including:

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

You know, I would not even worry about a random. I would worry about coming off of home time and having a 4 wheeler run into you and then you be sent for a drug test even though you are not at fault. I heard of someone getting tested for twisting an ankle and filing a work related injury claim.

There is an old saying "If you play with snakes, you are going to get bit"

You don't even want to hear the rest of my feelings on the subject.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Suppose you love your dog, Mickey. Suppose your company has a "No Pets" policy. Suppose you really love Mickey, and take him along anyway. This part is not "suppose": you will be anxious that you do not get caught with a dog on your truck. You should either leave the dog with someone to watch him, or get another job.

If you insist on pushing any of the company rules, and are prepared with your little jars to try to get around company rules, here's how to get rid of your anxiety: stop smoking or get a new job.

LIFE IS TOO DAMN SHORT. My father died young and I probably will too.

LIFE IS TOO DAMN SHORT to try to mess with the rules. As for your Dad, live a longer life, for him.

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

So the advice I'm looking for is: is it really possible to smoke anxiety free?

Depends if you care about not having a trucking career anymore. You get caught - you're done. You won't be hireable for any company that bothers to check your records.

I'm not usually prone to black and white thinking, but here's an exception. You either choose to smoke or drive a truck. It's that simple. But you already know that.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Jeff B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'll start by saying I appreciate your time and your advice and I'm really hoping for some open minded people who can give me some advice and NOT just come here to judge.

Also:if you're just coming here to say "drugs are bad" etc please save both our time and don't. (Keep in mind caffeine is a drug-how many of yall "do drugs" really?)

Okay so it's VERY important for you all to know I absolutely do NOT smoke weed and drive. I've been smoking weed since I was 18 and I've never been able to drive while doing so-a normal vehicle-and definitely not a big rig! I'm not stupid.

In fact-I don't even smoke when I'm out on the road because I don't want to risk getting caught with weed in my truck.

I ONLY smoke on my home time. Smoking marijuana is a big deal to me-it's attached to so many things in my life (I.e I won't watch any of my favorite shows w/o it etc). And to many of you that may scream "addict" but I'm anything but. It's a personal choice and my reasoning behind it is a whole other subject on its own and if you have questions about that I will gladly go into it but frankly this post is too long already.

I won't tell you what company I work for but I will say it's one of the bigger ones (as in not family owned etc) and the method of random drug testing is urine analysis.

So the advice I'm looking for is: is it really possible to smoke anxiety free? I've been driving about 6 months and haven't been popped for a random yet but I know it's coming.

And as of now my only plan is to freeze small jars of my own clean urine (because I don't smoke when out on the road-by time I'm home my system is clean again) and then defrost the jar whenever my route includes going to a company property.

Please let me know any experiences you've had with random drug testing or let me know any better ideas or maybe just tell me how stupid I'm being and how so.

It's easy to say, "just stop smoking" but like I mentioned earlier-that's basically saying "stop watching your favorite tv shows-don't listen to any new albums from your favorite bands-don't play and new video games you've been waiting years to come out" etc and I just don't think I can do that.

LIFE IS TOO DAMN SHORT. My father died young and I probably will too.

Thanks!

I think I would have kept all of that to myself.

Belluavir's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I wouldnt bet on something like frozen urine. Couldn't imagine what DOT would say if they found your block of **** lol.

I get you're into ganja and I don't blame you, its lovely, but here is the reality of the situation; you have to quit one of them. Either you stop using marijuana completely for the duration of your trucking career, or quit trucking. They just don't go together no matter how responsible you are, this is how the world is and you cant change by simply not following the rules. So you have to figure out which is more important, trucking or marijuana.

Unfortunately for you if you choose trucking, since you are heavy user, its going to take longer than 30 days for your body to be clear of THC, you only shed a couple dozen micrograms per day, so its going to take awhile depending on how much is floating around your blood stream.

If you really must use some kind recreational substance, stick with booze or psychedelics. Alcohol and psychedelics are out of your body in 24 hours and psychedelics are generally not tested for due to expense.

As for you being an addict, it certainly is possible. Addiction is characterized by heavy usage that is disruptive to your life. Your marijuana usage is arguably disruptive, or will be, to your career and therefore your life, and if you cant stop to remedy that issue well... You might be an addict!

If you're at home, smoking weed and watching cartoons when you could be making 40k a year sitting on your ass... You might be an addict!

I'm not judging brother, I love drugs, but I'm putting them aside so I can pursue a cool, unique job for couple years. I think you should do the same, quit now and hopefully you dont get caught and you can keep on truckin'.

Life is chock full of tough decisions and it sounds like this will be big one and I wish you the best of luck with it.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I'll add a couple of things to what the others said. First, you can't plan on having a random only when you're routed through company property. There are lots of places they can have you tested. I've had friends get a QC message to head to a clinic in two hours when they're nowhere near a yard or terminal. Boom! You're busted and you won't be driving a truck for a long time after that.

Second, I get the whole smoking thing. I used to smoke a lot of weed and I felt like you did at the time. I haven't touched it for years now and I don't miss it a bit. It's your choice, but I can say in hindsight that it really wasn't as great as I thought it was. All it did was make me stupid. Literally stupid. I couldn't do math in my head, I couldn't remember some words, I made bad decisions. Not worth the high.

Third, if you're smoking on home time and then driving a big rig a day or two after, you're putting yourself and everyone around you at risk. Since it attaches to your fat cells, it sticks around in your system for a long time. Sure, you're not high, but you're still impaired to some extent. You can feel like you're not, but in fact it still has an effect on reaction and perception time for days afterward. You can google the studies yourself if you want the facts and not just opinions.

So, I'm not judging you or putting you down. I've been there and done that. You seriously need to quit smoking or quit driving a truck. Beating a random doesn't mean you're safe on the road, and right now the way you're doing things, you're not safe on the road for at least a week or two after your home time, especially in a big rig. I know it's not what you want to hear, and you can keep looking for ways to beat the system, but one day it will catch up with you. I just hope it's a random and not a post-accident test.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Either quit or don't drive. Aside from the whiz quiz, you also have the possibility of a hair strand test. If you get caught on that one and your paperwork says, well I haven't touched the stuff in a year but the test says different, you're done.

Scott O.'s Comment
member avatar

Pee tests can be beat but its not that that you have to worry about... Like pat said if you hit someone or someone hits you they do a blood test and can't beat that....

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