Drug Test Changes Coming?

Article in today’s Boston Globe about the Federal Government, including the Military, reducing drug test requirements in order to find young new hires.

Will reduced requirements for Mariners and truck drivers be next?

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If I’m not mistaken, the article I read on the subject was that they are looking to lessen the impact of past drug use on getting a job. As far as I can tell, they will still hold a standard of no drug use once hired.

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The DOT/USCG drug testing requirements are codified in the CFRs. It would take an act of congress to change.


Not necessarily Congress doesn’t write the CFR It would depend on how specific the statute directing DOT to test is.


Given it sounds like most of the Military’s current recruitment woes come from the new Military Health System Genesis, Maybe they can find less medically disqualified folks amongst the former stoners. As for us, the CFRs are pretty cut and dry, I could see the requirements change when we legalize marijuana at the federal level, perhaps.


How can this be a positive for the industry? In my honest opinion they don’t drug test enough.


Agree 100 percent. Just lessen the cutoff for marijuana so it doesn’t take so long to clean up before stepping foot at work. Once it’s legal I think it’s very likely to happen. Alcohol literally kills people; and guys get blasted at work and return the next morning, sometimes still drunk. We’ve all seen it.


MJ does the same thing…with more psych and medical issues. It’s not a benign high. It’s just as dangerous as booze.


Spoken like a true person who has no idea what they are talking about.


Nobody seems to notice that the coast guard hasn’t weighed in on the content of this article.The only branch of military that made a living doing drug interdiction.

Maybe in the near future they’ll drop the day to day penalties for admitted use on applications or simple possession beefs, that is to say the CFR stuff is there but the administrative law judge lets it slide. I don’t know how stuff works on the street these days.

As far as drug testing aboard goes maybe they’ll ease up on a chemical result that can be proven that is aboard versus one for someone who’s been on for some time. Drug use aboard should have severe penalties in my own opinion.

Came off vacation and went positive for weed within a few weeks? Meh. Not the drug bust of the century.

It’s unfortunate that the least harmful drug on the panel lasts the longest. I wonder how many PCP positive tests have come up in the last decade.

Also whatever happened to the MM&P letter that stated the CG was looking at hair follicle testing a few years ago?


This caused a lot of confusion a few years ago.

Several companies, such as Crowley, were performing hair follicle testing already. This was under their own volition and at their own increased cost. Maybe this was driven by insurance or lawyers.

Problem is, this did not satisfy the USCG/DOT CFR requirements, despite having a longer “look-back” period. This is because a standard 5-spot urinalysis was USCG/DOT policy at the time.

The policy letter you reference simply stated that the USCG would accept hair follicle testing in lieu of urinalysis. I am sure this was lobbied by companies such as Crowley. They wanted to use hair follicle but were forced to test employees redundantly to comply. Getting the USCG/NMC to accept the hair follicle saves them money from doing two tests.

It makes perfect & reasonable sense.

Problem is, people glanced at the letter and took away that the USCG was going to implement hair follicle tests.


Almost certainly because the author didn’t bother to ask the Coast Guard.

I certainly have mixed feelings about drug testing.

It’s intrusive, demeaning, and a pain in the ass.

Undoubtedly, it screens out some problem druggies, but it also trips up some good hands.

At some companies there are some good hands that simply never get tested. The employer knows better.

There is a society wide labor shortage now. Pot use is wide spread, generally accepted, and increasingly legal.The handwriting is on the wall. It will be federally legal within a decade.

Can we as an industry or a society afford to screen out casual at home potheads?

The USCG in a one size fits all approach treats pot as a “narcotic”, the same as heroin. This never made any sense.

Government is becoming increasingly inept and inefficient. It needs less work to do.


Only if and when every single federal employee, officer, appointee, and elected official from the oval office down is subject to exactly the same testing and penalties as as a bedroom steward.


Best storey I heard from a couple of mariners from NY whose company has some DP and anchored barges and tugs etc, needed a crawler crane on board.
Ok all ready to load at the dock and the USCG turned up, the guys lined up but not the crane operators. The guys are wtf, USCG said the union guys from the crane company are exempt…
Boss man said no crane on board without drug test…crane company goes away.

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Not just the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard follows DOT, which is directly derivative from the statute from Congress.

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For anyone who wasn’t around 53 years ago: In 1970, President Nixon declared a “War on Drugs”. The government categorized marijuana as a dangerous drug under Schedule I alongside heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms. Schedule 2 drugs were listed as cocaine, meth, oxycodone, Adderall, Ritalin, and Vicodin. The reasoning was that weed has no “no acceptable medical use and was among the class of drugs having the highest potential for abuse.”
By that standard, does anyone today believe that marijuana is more harmful than cocaine and meth? Like the war on drugs the issue needs to be revisited but it’s not likely to happen when the government is consumed by its current war on personal pronouns amid the threat of ‘real war’ with China and Russia.


Wrong. Read the studies. See the patients, like I have, lung Cancer, GI problems, psych issues, memory lapses, inability to function, etc etc etc.

You’re just another in a long line of dope smoking deniers who think getting high is part of the day and it’s safe.

You’re an idiot.

Good thing your account and posts on here are discoverable.


Sure. Post some and I’ll read them.


Lighten up Francis