April 6, 2024

2024 NDASA Advocacy Day


NDASA’s 2024 Advocacy Day was a success beyond all expectations, with more than two dozen meetings held in our nation’s capital and a common commitment to protecting the safety of our workplaces and communities during an era of fast-changing drug laws.

Nearly 40 NDASA members were in attendance during the two-day trip to Washington D.C. which began with a welcome reception on March 4, followed by a chance to connect with attending Board Members and State Affiliates.

On March 5, Advocacy Day officially kicked off with a morning training by NDASA Board Chair James Greer and Executive Director Jo McGuire on advocating for the critically important safety carve-out if there is a change in federal law pertaining to marijuana (See our article about the importance of safety carve-outs) All attendees received information packets, were assigned to their group leaders, and learned how to present our key issue along with the theme button, “Say YES to the Safety Carve-out!”

Groups then boarded buses to head out for more than 30 meetings with members of Congress scheduled for our five groups throughout the day.

Thank you to those NDASA members who requested meetings with their senators and representatives on behalf of our association. We had an overwhelming response and as enthusiasm built during the day, impromptu meetings were added to our already-packed schedule on the Hill. It was encouraging to see how welcoming and engaged Capitol Hill staffers were, scheduling future follow-up emails and calls for more information. As the day went on, it became clear that no one wants our safety-sensitive U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) employees to operate under the influence of THC or any other illicit substances. We were thrilled to discover overwhelming support for continued drug and alcohol testing under the mandated program, should federal laws change the scheduling of cannabis.

NDASA also met with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) where we provided association updates. Meanwhile, the Political Action Committee attended a dinner with Texas Congressman Pete Sessions who proved to be a tremendous advocate for our industry, and we look forward to working with him on future endeavors.

This year, NDASA partnered with the Parent Action Network (PAN) which added another dozen attendees to our event and scheduled its own meetings so that members of Congress could hear how parents and families have been impacted by the loss of their children due to substance abuse. PAN is a subsidiary of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, and we were grateful to have the opportunity to educate parents about our work and how we strive to keep workplaces, families and communities safe from the harms of illicit substance use.

Following our meetings on Capitol Hill, our teams reconvened in our training room for a debriefing session to share how the day went. This was a true highlight as each team shared their excitement and success! Our workday was followed by a lovely reception hosted by NDASA Senior Policy Executive Advisor Patrice Kelly and her husband, Vic. Later in the evening, we enjoyed a guided nighttime tour of the Capitol Building, thanks to our State Affiliate Chair Mickey Moore and his State Representative, Eric Burlison of Missouri.

We hope that YOU will consider joining us for next year’s Advocacy Day in February of 2025 as we continue to build relationships in our nation’s capital and make our voices heard by sharing the value of our industry with lawmakers.

Advocacy Day Materials

Below are materials that we shared with lawmakers about NDASA’s positions and goals. If you ever have an opportunity to meet with decision-makers concerning drug testing in your area, we encourage you to make use of these documents: