An interesting musher news item today - for Iditarod mushers, 2010's race is going to be a little different than the last. According to Matias Saari at the Fairbanks Daily News Miner drug and alcohol testing rules will be truly enforced for the first time during the 2010 race. You can check out the marijuana drug testing article in full by clicking the link.
The dogs have been tested for a long time, according to the writer. Now it is the humans' turn. The article raises a few questions - what to do with medical marijuana users, like returning champion and cancer survivor Lance Mackey? Some mushers say they've never seen hard drugs during the race, although marijuana use is seen from time to time. Certainly the Iditarod is not typically what you have in mind when you think of recreational drug settings! But it turns out that even in the cold of Alaska, you may need a home drug test.
And if you were a frequent smoker before the race began (perhaps like Lance Mackey), any use during the race would likely be detected by a urine based marijuana drug test. Because for frequent smokers, marijuana can be detected in urine for up to 15, even 30 days. Last time Mackey won, he finished in just under 10 days.
Especially when medical marijuana is involved, these things become complicated. Drug testing certainly seems like a good idea though when you are racing through fearsome conditions in the wilderness.
Hopefully everyone will enjoy themselves safely in one of America's most interesting races!