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Airlines impose cannabis ban on pilots and cabin crewAir Canada, WestJet and Jazz are among the carriers that have imposed a blanket ban on cannabis use for many employees directly involved in flight operations as Transport Canada warns that cannabis is a “potential threat” to aviation safety. (www.thestar.com) More...
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I have encountered more contra indicated drug prescriptions in my immediate circle than positives or false positives in my entire drug & alcohol tested aviation career. Including my extended aviation community. too wit, klonopin, to known alcoholics. Pot won't kill nearly as many people as the pharmaceutical industry. Opioids in the Obama era anyone.
Exactly what is new here, at least regarding airline crews? Nothing that I can see. Weed stays in your system for a month, at least so I'm told. I vacationed in Cuzco, Peru in my flying days, elevation 11,000 feet. On check in at the hotel I was offered a cup of coca tea to offset the effects of the high altitude and I was afraid to drink it. Maybe I should have, as it took a few days to get over the altitude sickness...
You could have chewed on the leaves - it clears your system about same time as the tea - three days.
Well, I was advised to eat lightly my first night so I unwisely chose a lukewarm egg salad sandwich from a local deli. Yep, three days is just about right, one way or the other.
This issue is already being addressed by departments of public safety in states where marijuana is legalized already. Yes, marijuana stays in your system for 30 days. No, only a certain level in a certain time frame makes you intoxicated. In ERs across the country, we deal far more often with people who are using synthetic marijuana. It doesn't make you "pop" a drug test. It is far worse than marijuana, imo. Agitation, syncope and catatonic behavior, elevated BP and pulse-that is the "high" of synthetic marijuana. The people using it are also in high risk jobs. So, sure, the airline industry is having to rely on pilots who did not come from the military. Those lifelong civilian pilots may not have the conservative and antidrug mindset of an ex-military pilot. I would prefer the airline industry approach the marijuana issue realistically instead of how the oil and gas industry deals with it, by pretending drug testing "prevents" a problem. And, BTW, this ER doc is ex-military so no squacking about unfair portrayals. As for docs and pot, do not get me started. The quarterly newsletter from the medical board always lists dozens losing their licenses over alcohol abuse. Pot is the least of their problems.
This will leave no other choice other than zero tolerance until standards are set and testing methods are perfected. Of course the lawyers will declare some tests are delivering false positives. I am quite happy with zero tolerance in many areas which we will see in weeks to follow those imposed on transportation workers.