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Medical Marijuana incident

Discussion in 'Liveaboards and Charter Boats' started by Wookie, May 14, 2014.

  1. ynotdivein

    ynotdivein Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Maine
    The pill form (Marinol) is an FDA-approved Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act. The whole plant form is Schedule I. FWIW, meth is Schedule II... but hopefully no one's bringing that onboard!
  2. Barrod

    Barrod Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
    I researched this a little bit and found one article, 25 years old, in which CG tried unsuccessfully to seize a boat for small amount of marijuana. Another incident in the same article said it happened again and it was a 1500 fine.

    Also read an article where the Time Bandit was raided by the CG and they found a small amount of cannabis and meth. Arrest was made but no seizure, no loss of captains license.

    Unless you have simply decided you don't like people that consume cannabis and wish to get them busted there is no reason you should think about "arresting" anyone. Get with the times because like it or not support for legal cannabis is near 60% nationwide.

    Imagine this actually happens, I bet you would never pick up the radio to call the CG. Big talk is one thing. You know deep down your not losing your boat/license/livelihood over a joint.

    Also, vaping is such a blessing! Odor free, residue free, atypical appearance. You or the CG and their dogs would never find a vape pen in a dive bag, no way.
  3. diver 85

    diver 85 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SW Louisiana
    Wookie, good luck with all the dopeheads--bet your job becomes a lot more difficult over the next few years......
    Chugwhump likes this.
  4. Barrod

    Barrod Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
    Ok troll I'll feed you a little. Please explain how his job gets a lot harder? I recommend digging up some old 80s propaganda about how cannabis turns people into crazed lunatics rapists and murderers. The drug war is over guys.

    You don't have to like the fact that otherwise totally law abiding citizens will no longer be harassed and paranoid.

    One thing I can assure you. Nobody's job is getting any harder because of legal cannabis.
    Wingy and kelemvor like this.
  5. lionfish-eater

    lionfish-eater Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: On an Island in the Mississippi River
    My boat, my rules trumps state and federal laws regarding illegal substances. What will you do when Fla. legalizes med use? Will you deny boarding to legal users in the future? As the captain you have the right to impose restrictions as you see fit. Will you have issues with ADA accessibility by denying legal med users boarding privileges?

    Is the issue one of legality only, or is the issue intoxicants. I assume that guests cannot bring their own alcohol onboard and consume as much as they want. I am certain that drunk guests have been a problem onboard, as they are everywhere else.

    How do the cruise ships deal with this issue?

    There is a test for mj use that shows recent use. A simple swab of the inner cheek dipped into a reagent will show usage in the last 4 hours. Lots of complaints from Co. of people being pulled over and given a breathalyzer and a swab test without probable cause. If test shows positive driver can be given a DUI regardless of their demonstrated sobriety.
  6. Barrod

    Barrod Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States
    Tap of unlimited rum drinks and beer on the liveaboards is fine. Even though the WHO says alcohol kills more people worldwide than violence annually.

    A little vape pen is really cause for alarm though! What if my divers are impaired!

    I guess it is a concern. In my humble opinion, just like driving, cannabis makes you more conscious of your movements and actions. Not less conscious like alcohol does.

    The impairment argument is simply wrong. Motor skills don't diminish with cannabis like with alcohol.
  7. redacted

    redacted Guest

    I believe you assume wrong.

    BYOB is OK but stays in the galley (no food or drink below deck). You can have a drink for breakfast if you want. BUT, when you start drinking, you are finished diving for the day.
  8. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    I live in a country where recreational cannabis use is more or less legal and even at that, it's not a big problem in the dive community. There will always be some but I suspect that alcohol use is more of a problem among divers than blowing.

    From the sounds of it, the complication where you guys are has more to do with incompatibilities in different levels of legality between state and federal levels. As long as that's not cleaned up then it's going to continue to create issues.

  9. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    Where did you pick up that gem of legal advice?

    A similar problem exists with having firearms that are legally registered in their state and pulling into port in Mexico. Personal opinions are irrelevant when your life savings, livelihood, and freedom are at risk.
    Chugwhump likes this.
  10. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    My purpose here was not to debate the pros or cons of recreational use of marijuana. I think my Libertarian viewpoint are well known to many of the members of the board, and yes, on my boat I am king for a day.

    The fact remains that the use of marijuana remains illegal in federal jurisdictions where I operate, and the use of marijuana onboard an inspected or commercial vessel with a US flag for any reason by any person falls outside of the laws I must follow.

    If the law stated I couldn't have guns, I wouldn't have guns, regardless of my convictions. If the law stated that I could not dump sewage or food scraps, I would not dump sewage or food scraps. The law states that I cannot allow anyone to bring controlled substances onboard. It does not tell me (yet) that I have to search for them, nor do I have to search for terrorist weapons. Other vessels of the United States do have to perform these actions, but as of yet, I do not. The law lays out some pretty harsh penalties for violation. Whether or not anyone has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law is not at issue, and being called a square or a non conformist or anything else is really water off a duck's back. I've been called some pretty insulting names. It's the nature of the job and of the business.

    I have to work with the Coast Guard and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and National Park Service nearly every day. I get some pretty hefty research contracts from the Navy and NOAA as well as NPS and FWC. They make it so I can afford to own a boat and take recreational divers out to see some beautiful reefs. My reputation with most of them is one of complete integrity and honesty, and the promise of satisfactory completion of the job. I sign a statement every year that the vessel, captain, and crew have never been convicted of a felony and that the vessel has never been cited (not prosecuted or convicted, but cited) for an environmental violation. I also have to certify that I have not been accused of federal tax fraud, but that isn't part of this story. I have become friends with many of my contractors.

    The point is that I maintain a pretty solid reputation with the folks that make it possible to take recreational divers on boat trips. One aw$hit may not destroy that reputation, but my contractors would tend to look at me and think to themselves "Why was he so stupid to let someone with marijuana on his boat? He knew what the consequences were. What other stupid things will he do , what other serious judgement lapses will he have?"

    So the damage someone does to their own reputation in the name of smoking some weed does not effect me. I don't care what someone does in their own home, it is none of my business. Consenting adults and all that. The Coast Guard policy is very clear on medical marijuana for mariners here: Medical Marijuana policy. Additionally, the medical (or recreational) possession regulations are at the top of every mariner's mind now. When asked, the Coast Guard's response is "call us. We'll come take care of it". So, would I physically arrest someone for having marijuana on the boat? No, probably not. Depends on their attitude and how they insist on their "rights". Would I call the Coast Guard and ask them to take care of it? You bet I would. Someone who does not care about my livelihood or reputation deserves no consideration from me or my crew. Would it be awkward? Terribly. I've been in awkward situations before, I expect that they weren't my last time.

    When the law changes, maybe we'll have a big ol' party on the sundeck. Maybe we'll all have gay marriages and smoke weed. Maybe when the law changes. Right now, in Florida and upon the federal waters of the United States, neither one is legal.

    ---------- Post added May 15th, 2014 at 12:07 PM ----------

    Yes. Small passenger vessels are exempt from any ADA regulations. We do deny boarding to any passenger who is not physically capable of maintaining their safety while on the vessel.

    ---------- Post added May 15th, 2014 at 12:11 PM ----------

    Nope, strictly legality. Guests may only bring liquor onboard, and it must be checked in the galley. We don't allow guests to bring beer and wine because they will invariably bring bottles. Glass breaks on a boat. Divers are barefoot.

    A cruise ship also does not allow guests to bring their own intoxicants onboard. It's more of a tax issue for them. Their booze is duty free, so no one can consume booze in state waters. Marijuana is still illegal.

    ---------- Post added May 15th, 2014 at 12:21 PM ----------

    You will run into the same problem coming back into the United States. If you didn't register them before you left, the CBP guys get this funny look on their face and you get to take them to the impound for a visit for a while. Ask me how I know this.

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