If you’re someone who uses cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes, a big concern is knowing how to travel with it. Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, domestically or internationally, it is imperative to know the rules surrounding the carrying of these substances no matter where you are.
The main question people have when it comes to traveling with cannabis-based products boils down to whether it is legal or not. But there are other questions as well. In this post, we will try to clear up some of the confusion.
Traveling by Air with Cannabis
The TSA has historically forbidden cannabis on airplanes until recently. In late spring 2018, they updated their policies to reflect changes in the social and political climate. Federally legal CBD is permissible as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. Additionally, pharmaceutical drugs derived from cannabis are also legal, provided you have a prescription. The same goes for medical marijuana.
Initially, the new rule was put in place to accommodate a newer drug—Epidiolex—used to treat childhood epilepsy. The drug is the first on the market to be made with cannabidiol. Fortunately, consumers can now carry CBD oil with them during flights, which for many people is a godsend.
For casual recreational users, marijuana without a prescription is still prohibited. While the TSA does not actively search bags for pot, they are obliged to report illegal substances found in luggage to law enforcement.
It is forbidden in the US to export or import marijuana, so international travel with cannabis could be quite risky from a legal standpoint. It is also important to note that what is legal in the US may not be permitted in certain countries. To avoid prosecution or confiscation, you will want to check the laws surrounding medical marijuana and CBD in the region you are traveling too as well.
Traveling by Car With Cannabis
Car travel may pose less of a risk to those transporting cannabis, but it is still vital to know the laws. Even in marijuana-legal states, the policies surrounding driving with cannabis are about the same as traveling with alcohol. Containers must be sealed, and if they are unsealed, they must be carried in the trunk or glove compartment.
Driving under the influence is also becoming more of an issue. Law enforcement can make arrests if drivers appear impaired, and in some states, if THC blood levels are too high you can be arrested for driving under the influence.
If you are travelling with CBD, you should be OK. The exception to this is when traveling in states where CBD is not permitted, or where CBD containing even trace amounts of THC is prohibited. It is important to know the laws in your state before exposing yourself to potential legal troubles.
Traveling Across State Lines With Cannabis
If you take a cross country trip through several states at once, cannabis is not permitted. Crossing state lines with marijuana is federally illegal and you can be arrested whether the individual state has recreational or medical programs in place or not. Quantities as low as a gram have been seized and the drivers possessing them have been slapped with drug trafficking charges.
Individual states also have some of their own laws regarding crossing state lines with cannabis. Even in states where pot is legal, it is very risky attempting to travel with your weed.
The ever-changing laws surrounding cannabis mean that the interpretation of them can get murky at times. While one officer may not bat an eyelash at your joint in the center console, another may fine or even arrest you. The safest thing to do if you want to avoid prosecution is to leave the marijuana at home. If you must have it with you, experts advise carrying as little as possible and keeping it in the trunk of your vehicle.
Generally, it is best to be well-informed and educated about whatever substance you intend to travel with. Federal and state laws can differ, and no matter who you are there is always a risk of consequences ranging from mildly annoying to severe.