Seafarers are reminded that the U.S. Department of Transportation forbids the use of marijuana by employees subject to drug testing under DOT regulations. Even if marijuana use is legal in your home state, it is still illegal under federal law (federal law regulates the maritime industry). A recent report by an industry trade association representing hundreds of employers pointed out that many people trying to enter the industry hit a roadblock by testing positive for marijuana. Conversely, the percentage of active mariners who test positive for drug use is extremely low. The same article noted that maritime employers are required to report their respective yearly drug and alcohol testing data to the U.S. Coast Guard. This includes pre-employment drug tests. The bottom line for mariners – active and prospective alike – is that marijuana is still banned under federal law, and pre-employment screenings are reported to the Coast Guard.
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