7 Key Points You Need To Know While Traveling With Marijuana
Considering what has always been the rigid stance of the state against the use of cannabis in any form, the recent spate of legalizations is nothing short of amazing. In the United States alone, about a dozen states have legalized marijuana completely. So much progress has been made in the efforts to decriminalize weed that you may start getting carried away.
So you think you can now travel with marijuana freely? Yes, progress has been made, but there are still strict federal laws against the use or even possession of Marijuana. Seventeen states still prohibit the substance in any form at all in the United States. And it is still a federal crime to be caught in possession of marijuana. Depending on the quantity and whether it is a first-time offense or not, the offender may be looking at hefty fines or even jail time. And that’s after the confiscation of the substance.
You are, however, less likely to run into trouble transporting weed in a state that has legalized cannabis use one way or the other than in a state that still entirely prohibits it. Navigating between federal and state jurisdiction is a very dicey prospect. This is because most Interstate travels fall under the purview of the Feds. And federal law prohibits marijuana use, except in minimal quantities, as approved, which is “any cannabidiol product containing less than 0.3 percent THC” (THC, simply put, is the active ingredient in cannabis).
We have put together seven key points you need to know about traveling with marijuana.
- Medical Marijuana Patients
Medical Marijuana Cards are IDs given to patients which permit them to purchase prescribed marijuana from approved dispensaries or other Get Kush Weed Online Dispensaries in their states. To be candid, the cards are pretty useless when traveling and may not be a license to have marijuana with you.
The simple reason is that only the issuing authority can authenticate a medical marijuana card. The TSA, for example, cannot. That makes a patient, who may be licensed to use marijuana for medical purposes, liable for federal interrogation. Regardless of medical approval, federal law still prohibits cannabis, and relevant authorities may be forced to take action.
- You CAN’T fly with Weed Yet!
Even if you’re in a state with legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, you still need to realize that an airplane falls under federal jurisdiction. You also need to understand that marijuana is strictly prohibited inside planes. The Federal Aviation Administration, which supervises air transportation, makes possession of any kind of cannabis illegal. Passengers who are caught with the substance risk prosecution under federal law, regardless of which state they are flying from or flying to.
- The TSA
So, what about the TSA? Well, the Transport Security Administration itself answers this question. Their official position stated on their website: TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.
Now, that’s tricky. The TSA simply states that while marijuana and other “prohibited” drugs are not part of what they are meant to search for (security and detecting potential threats is their focus), they won’t close their eyes to discovering such substances. The TSA absolves itself of the responsibility of prosecuting anyone found with marijuana, but would still count it an offense, hence the report.
- Some Airports Offer Weed Amnesty
Some Airports offer Weed users the opportunity to drop off packages of cannabis they have on them before security forces locate them. Such disposal carries no penalties, and such passengers won’t be prosecuted. If you’re not so sure about getting on that flight with your cannabis package, you may drop it off at the “Amnesty boxes” provided.
- Understand the Laws – They are complicated.
The major complication with marijuana laws is that they are fluid. They change from place to place. Even in cities where cannabis is legal, there are still laws to maneuver. While some places are more liberal than others, you may still run into trouble transporting weed, even in the most liberal cities. You’re also more likely to sneak weed traveling by air than by road. That’s because you’re more likely to face stiffer prosecution and searches by law enforcement when traveling through states with strict cannabis laws than you’ll meet when in an Airport.
- Going International? It may be risky.
Cannabis may still be federally banned in America, but much progress has been made in decriminalizing it nationwide. About 33 states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and more than a dozen permit the use of recreational cannabis. That’s not how it operates elsewhere. Many countries prohibit cannabis in any form, and possession of the substance could carry heavy sentences even in minimal quantities. Cross-border movement of cannabis is highly risky, no matter how well you can conceal the substance.
- Quantity is key
There’s a minimal quantity of medical marijuana that is permissible even by federal law. However, if you must travel with weed, the amount has to be minor. You’re likely going to find it incredibly easier to hide it from security checks if the quantity is small. TSA will not have any issues with you even if the substance is found, but you would be referred to a local law enforcement officer who could use discretion to simply confiscate the substance and let you walk if he’s in a good mood.
Traveling with marijuana is pretty confusing. However, this article has shed light on tips to keep in mind while traveling with marijuana.