Smoking weed on cruise ships has become so popular that a major cruise line is now using drug-sniffing dogs to stop passengers from bringing pot onto their ships.
Every major cruise line that sails from US ports, including Carnival Cruise Line (CCL), Royal Caribbean (RCL), MSC, and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH), prohibits cannabis on all of their ships. Passengers are not allowed to use federally-prohibited cannabis products onboard, nor are they even allowed to bring some bud to enjoy at their destination. Cruise security will confiscate any weed that they find onboard, and anyone caught with pot will generally get kicked off the boat at the next port.
But now that weed is legal in all of Canada and half of the US, a growing number of passengers are ignoring the rules. Passengers have been smoking so much weed on ships, in fact, that Carnival started using drug-sniffing dogs to stop people from bringing bud on board. And although adult-use legalization is continuing to spread throughout North America and Europe, a Carnival employee recently confirmed that the company has no plans to retire its canine cops.
“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,” explained Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald in a social media post. “It isn’t. These uber intelligent and highly trained dogs are used at embarkation and occasionally, not every cruise on every ship [and] will sail as well with their handlers.”
This disappointing decision comes at a time when many other traditional travel businesses are finally starting to chill out about weed. A small but growing number of hotels are rolling out cannabis-friendly rooms and smoking areas, and more and more weed-focused resorts are popping up in North America. And although most adult-use states still prohibit public pot use, some states are finally starting to open cannabis consumption lounges that give tourists and locals a space to light up.
Carnival doesn't really have the leeway to openly say yes to pot, though. All cruise ships fall under federal jurisdiction because they travel on interstate and international waters. So even if a cruise is traveling from one adult-use state to another, federal law strictly prohibits anyone from bringing weed onboard. The same restrictions also apply to airlines, which is why some TSA employees still call the cops if they find weed in someone's luggage.