Very soon our federal government is going to legalize marijuana and it will be available as readily as alcohol. This has a lot of dive companies and dive supervisors worried about policies, rules and how this will affect the workplace.
In short, the answer is to look at what we do around alcohol and alcohol intoxication. For the most part the same rules apply and it doesn’t matter how the worker is intoxicated, they should not be diving. However, with pot it’s not as easy for the supervisor to recognize pot intoxication. Alcohol has smell, behaviors, neurological clues and tests with exact results to determine the level of intoxication but pot does not. Who can say if glassy eyes are a result of pot or simply allergies?
The bottom line is that responsibility must fall on the diver. No matter how together one feels after smoking a big fatty, they should not be diving commercially. This isn’t about you and your ability to dive, this is about responsibility to your team and supervisor. If you are getting in the water stoned, you are putting the rest of your team in the bite. If you are the standby diver or buddy and intoxicated with anything, you are not effective to your fellow diver and you are in-fact putting them in danger. If you are baked and diving, you are putting a world of pain and stress on your supervisor if you goof up and hurt yourself on the worksite.
Bottom line is that it’s not about you, it’s about your team who is counting on you. After work… party on Garth, but don’t be endangering the lives and well-being of others with selfish stupidity. We all need to call out and shame the diver who is endangering the rest of the team whether its diving, driving, operating a crane or blending our nitrox.
DiveSafe Director of Training - Kelly Korol