Yo, what’s good? It looks like Carnival Cruises is keeping it strict when it comes to smoking up on their ships. If you’re thinking about sparking up while on vacation, you might wanna think twice before you do so on a cruise run by Carnival Cruise Line (CCL), Royal Caribbean (RCL), or Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH). In fact, all the major cruise lines that operate or depart from U.S. ports have put the kibosh on cannabis consumption on-board. You’ll find “Drug Free Zone” signs throughout the ship, and they have a zero tolerance policy.
Don’t even think about trying to get away with blazing just because you’re out in open waters. While these ships aren’t flagged in the U.S., they still follow federal law, which trumps state laws. Therefore, cannabis is prohibited in nearly every circumstance. You might think that the open seas are lawless, but that’s far from the truth. Laws typically extend miles from shore and most cruises stop in multiple countries, so you’re not off the hook for obeying the law.
The Gwinnett Daily Post recently reported that CCL will continue using drug detection dogs to sniff out pot and other drugs. “As for the drug detection dogs, well let me say that they have, along with our no tolerance rules and enforcement, made a massive difference to the problem of people thinking it is legal and allowed to use marijuana on their cruise. It isn’t,” said Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald on his Facebook page on May 23.
Some cruisers have complained about the smell of weed on-board. Passengers report smelling it when the ships dock at ports and when they venture into cities. “They really need more drug dogs when we are getting back on the ship because people pick up drugs in ports and that is when I smell marijuana on the balconies,” said a commenter named Janet on Heald’s page.
There are a few issues with using dogs to sniff out drugs and weed. Some people raised concerns about allergies to dogs and how that might infringe on privacy. Heald had this to say, “These uber intelligent and highly trained dogs are used at embarkation and occasionally, not every cruise on every ship will sail as well with their handlers. Again, the ships are large enough for this [to] not be a concern for anyone who is allergic.”
The Washington Post asked CCL about their cannabis policy last March, and a representative confirmed that cannabis is not allowed on-board. “In case there’s any confusion, let me remind guests that while marijuana and cannabis products may be legal in some states, we are required to follow federal law irrespective of the law in the state where you may be boarding your ship,” said CCL President Christine Duffy.
Drug-sniffing dogs are losing their jobs in droves as more states legalize cannabis. In some cases, the dogs are getting trained to ignore cannabis since they can pick up on biases and prejudices of their handlers. It’s not just dogs either. China uses drug-sniffing red squirrels, and honeybees could soon be up next. Researchers at the University of Cologne in Germany recently published a study in the journal Plos One showing the promise honeybees have in law enforcement when it comes to detecting illicit drugs.
If you’re caught with cannabis on a cruise ship, you’ll likely be punished quickly and kicked off at the next port. So if you’re looking to relax on vacation without worrying about getting booted from your cruise, leave the bud at home.