Historic US House Vote On Marijuana, What Will The USCG Do?

The US House will probably be voting on lowering the classification of marijuana tomorrow to a less severe type of drug? If the Senate does the same will the USCG follow?


It doesn’t matter for the CG’s purposes in testing. The results of impairment don’t change with a drug’s classification or legal standing.


I don’t know. But I can easily imagine some rabble rouser, don’t need the money truck driver or mariner smoking a half a joint then videoing himself for 3 weeks, drug free, to take a failed drug test to court. Once the laws change, I think everything else will too, including the USCG.

Until some test comes out that can detect between usage while on the job / at time of accident or the presence of THC in the bloodstream from three weeks ago, I wouldn’t expect anything to change. USCG will likely consider the person under the influence.

Regardless if it’s made legal (or at least decriminalized), employers will make it a condition of employment that the employee does not partake in the devils lettuce. If you want to try and make an argument that it is employer overreach and they shouldn’t be worried about what you do in your off time, I can agree to somewhat of an extent. But if smoking weed is that important to the proverbial you, then find a job that doesn’t require a drug test. Any job wherein someone is working with heavy equipment or some such and needs to be clear headed is going to say “Nope, can’t work here if you smoke weed on the regular”.

The testing is 99.999 percent of the problem; specifically the testing’s inability to decipher THC from the blood or pee stream 2 hrs old or 2 weeks old.


The realist in me who knows there’s way more mariners around than jobs agrees with you. More hurdles & higher the bar the better. But the Libertarian in me thinks an employer who isn’t paying a guy doesn’t have a right to tell him what he can or can’t do in the privacy of his own home weeks before he is due to show up? But none of my business, its between the employer, employee & future courts & judges to decide. I was looking for opinions about what the USCG will do if & when marijuana prohibition is no longer the law of the land. I think the House will vote to decriminalize, it will be a lot tougher for the potheads & Libertarians in the Senate.


It will still be illegal for many people. It would be the same as alcohol or opiate pain meds. Sure they’re “legal”, but they’re not legal for us to use while on duty. The DOTs policy for Commercial drivers and for mariners would probably stay the same. It’s not gonna be treated like tobacco. Just because something is legal, doesn’t mean people have a right to it.


You are so right. Look you get tested for alcohol after an accident or incident and if you blow over 0.04 you are considered intoxicated. That gets you fired and because some brainiac tried to get the company forced to hire him back it also gets you reported to the USCG who then gives you a year long break to dry out while you jump through the hoops. The whole issue whether you are currently intoxicated while on THC is a problem not just for the USCG but law enforcement in general and it will be a problem settled in court by those suing for damages caused in an accident by those under the influence. The answer is a test that determines current state of sobriety.

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I’m sure the Insurance Companies will have the final say on this. Their the ones that have to carry the burden.


This is it exactly.

If an accident happens, the drug test is going to show THC in the bloodstream. It may be from 2 weeks ago, or it may be from 2 hours ago. It depends on so many factors: how regular of a user are they? how fast is their metabolism? what is their bmi (the way I understand it, it is stored in fat??)?

What is an acceptable level of THC? That’s what courts are going to have to decide.

The few times I’ve used it since college, I felt like I was in a fog for a day or two after. Reactions slowed, wasn’t thinking quite as clearly. It was like a hangover but without the pain. I just felt slow. You could make an argument that I was the definition of impaired and I would have a hard time disagreeing with you.

That said, was I more impaired than when I had been up for 36-40 straight hours and driving company vehicles and attending vessels and terminals on the clock? Probably not. But nobody cares about that, and I know my (ex)profession wasn’t unique in that regard.

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That’s probably the reason I haven’t smoke in over 20 years. I went home to visit & hung out with my old stoner friends. It had been more than a few years since I was a frequent smoker & felt dumb for a day or two afterwards. I asked my friends about the dumb feeling I had & they replied they felt completely normal, must have been me. Screw that, I didn’t want that to feel normal like them.

I too think the testing methods will need to be changed if/when it becomes decriminalized nationwide. It will be a big business so perhaps the deep pockets in the cannabis industry will develop a better test?


Yeah, in spite of growing up in California, I never really developed a desire for pot. Have I smoked a joint or two? Yeah. Not really fond of the effect. . . and combine that with the chance of losing my profession/career? Meh, just plain not worth it. . . .


Studies have found that weed negatively impacts brain development, particularly working memory. The male brain doesn’t fully develop until around 30 years old, the female brain several years earlier. Regularly smoking weed before the age of 30 will cause someone to have a less developed brain than if they hadn’t smoked it.

I’ve heard from people who used to be very pro weed and wanted it decriminalized, then they went to work in mental health services and their opinion changed completely when they saw first hand the damage it does to people’s mental health.


Speaking of mental health, impairment, and testing, when are all elected federal officials going to be tested just like truck drivers and mariners?


I agree I think they should be tested too, operating heavy equipment and machinery under the influence of drugs is dangerous but so is operating a country.

Also I think all medical staff should be drug tested, who would want to be seen or operated on by a doctor who could be under the influence of something?

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I can attest to this.

I know a few heavy users that started while they were in high school. I am obvs not a doctor, but it doesn’t take one to recognize extreme paranoia, schizophrenic, or bipolar symptoms. They’re just…off. And the older they have gotten, the worse it is.


For many of us, the negative effects last a couple of months, not just a couple of hours.

Probably much the same as they do here in Canada.
Wacky tobacco is leagle. Impairment is not.
Companies still have zero tolerance policies.
Smoking any product in a workplace is not.
What you do at home on your own time is up to you. Don’t show up for work impaired.
One thing which is different. Radom drug testing is not allowed. Without probable cause.
Ie past history may require agreeing to drug test.

So no need to worry about a random drug test.

Is suppose the intersting question in the US will be if some has a positive test with no impairment.

Yet US citizens with a conviction for marijuana use still face hurdles in even entering Canada.

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And hair follicle tests that go back 2-6 months don’t help either.

Back in the mid 80’s/early 90’s the company I was at was having some difficult times. Looking outside the box, I went for a job interview for one of the railroads. About 200 or so people showed up the first day. After the opening presentation by the HR manager about half did not come back after the break. After the break , he went on to chat about the hair follicle test, and criminal history. Took another break, then we were down to about 20 people. Brilliant weeding out process. Made it to the final interviews the next day, about 8 of us. Kinda glad now I didn’t get the job.