The legal use of marijuana is gaining more wide acceptance at the state level. After the 2020 elections, a total of 15 states allow all adults to use marijuana, while an additional 19 allow for medical purposes. But we are mariners, and we fall under Federal jurisdiction when performing our jobs on vessels. Under Federal laws, marijuana is still an illegal controlled substance, and smoking a joint can cost you your license.
As mariners, we require periodic drug testing to meet USCG regulations. You will need to pass a drug screening prior to getting your original MMC issued, and then again at every renewal. So at a minimum, every 5 years, you are going to need to pass a drug screening. And that’s not including your company requirements, which can include random and post-accident drug tests.
If you end up “popping positive” on a drug test, you have two paths to follow, depending on if you are applying for an original license or a renewal. In either case, you are not going to work using your license for at least one year. Click HERE for the original license guideline, and HERE for the renewal guidelines.
So while your friends at home in one of the 15 states that allow marijuana use may tempt you with an easy weekend high, remember that your job (and livelihood) is on the line. Just say no.