Some days, you just have to shake your head at the crazy things people do. This case has its hilarious moments, but it could have turned out a lot worse.
Imagine this – a semi truck barrels down the highway, makes a stop at an interstate highway weigh station, as per regulation, and gets into a conversation with a commercial vehicle officer. This seems normal enough on the surface, but something did not add up for the officer. The conversation about the trucker’s load, where he was headed, weight and other details rang a little bell in the back of the officer’s head.
Doing his job, the officer asked permission to search the truck and found 213 pounds of marijuana. You might be wondering why the trucker gave the officer permission to search his vehicle if he was hauling drugs, but really, what other choices did he have? The driver was immediately arrested and faced drug trafficking charges. The arrest report did not indicate whether or not the driver was under the influence when he was arrested.
This immediately brings to mind stories of other big rigs involved in accidents that maim and kill and the further revelation that semi truck drivers driving under the influence of marijuana is on the rise. In fact, this grim news was recently revealed in a study done by the Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety. They found that more than 15 percent of 18-wheeler drivers that participated in the research for the report tested positive for marijuana. A companion study, authored by the NTSB, showed 12.5 percent of all fatal truck accidents involved marijuana.
Obviously if a trucker has been smoking marijuana and then trying to drive an 80,000 pound vehicle, something bad is going to happen, sooner if not later. It significantly impairs the user’s ability to drive and makes them unsafe at any speed. Many know that this drug acts on the user’s central nervous system and causes difficulty concentrating, temporary loss of memory and a slower reaction time. If the trucker cannot control his/her vehicle because they have been toking up, the end results may be catastrophic.