I would pay very close attention to what Captain Tim Tower of the fv BUNNY CLARK, ME has written here...
I was told today by our U.S. Coast Guard inspector that our drug testing program is being ramped up.
As marijuana becomes legal, stateside, in the private sector, the Federal government is making it more strict as it relates to Coast Guard jurisdiction. As it stands now, employees on Coast Guard inspected vessels are drug tested (a urine examination) out of a common pool of the consortium you might belong to. There are about 5,000 individuals in the pool that we belong.
The way it worked was, every quarter of the year, a quarter of those individuals were tested randomly. As of January 1, 2019, fifty percent of those in the pool will be tested every quarter. I see two problems with this.
One, it makes it even harder to find deck hands.
Two, we will be tested more frequently.
This takes time and costs a significant amount of money. If I get called for testing, I have twenty-four hours to comply. In the past, I had to cancel a full boat of anglers one time as I couldn't find a captain to take the trip and there was no other time available to take the test.
If one of my employees gets the call, I can wait for a month to tell that person to take a drug test. This is helpful because I can find a time that is free for that individual before I tell them. Once they are told, they have twenty-four hours to comply. So just another PIA to contend with.
This is not going to help either the Feds or the companies that this new edict covers. It lacks much common sense, as it typical of most Federal "blanket laws".
I feel sorry for those who are just starting out in the party/charter industry. I don't see how those who are just starting out could afford it.