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Even though marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, it’s been around since about 500 BC. And before people used it to get high, it was grown and cultured for medicinal purposes.
Many states have lifted their bans and are allowing marijuana use for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
People depend on marijuana to keep them healthy, both physically and mentally. It helps with anxiety, trouble sleeping, pain, and a many other ailments.
So what are people supposed to do when they’re going on a trip. Because it’s still federally illegal, traveling with marijuana can be tricky.
Do you have a trip coming up and want to know the ins and outs of travel? Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about traveling with it.
If You’re Driving
You’re allowed to travel with up to an ounce of cannabis in most legal marijuana states. That being said, it needs to be inaccessible to the driver. So if you’re about to go on a big road trip, make sure it’s sealed in a jar or another contraption, and in your trunk.
If it’s in an open baggie or container in the front part of your car, you run the risk of being charged with driving under the influence.
Be mindful of which states you’ll be driving through if you plan to cross state lines. Should you be traveling between California and Oregon, for example, you SHOULD be fine. That being said, Idaho patrol officers have a reputation for pulling over out-of-state license plates.
If you do plan to drive through a state like Idaho, make sure your car doesn’t have a tail light out or any other red flag and follow the rules of the road. You’re still traveling with marijuana at your own risk through any state where it’s illegal.
If You’re Flying
Air travel is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) so no matter what state you’re flying into, there are still laws that advise AGAINST traveling with marijuana.
Your best bet, especially if you’re flying, is to leave it at home. However, if you cannot leave home without your medicine, be as discrete as you can when traveling with marijuana.
The TSA does not go out of their way to search for marijuana. In fact, they explicitly say so. They are much more concerned with finding explosives and weapons.
That being said, if your bag goes through security and they do see marijuana there, they’ll bring it up to local law enforcement, even though airport personnel is federally employed.
If you’re flying into California or Colorado, or any other state that no longer has strict marijuana laws, you should be fine.
But if you’re traveling to any of the states that do still enforce those strict laws (like Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, etc.), you run the risk of being hassled and arrested.
Even Colorado has strict policies against marijuana possession at the airport. That being said, if they find you with it, they’ll most likely just take it away.
If you’re determined to fly with it despite all the rules and regulations, only bring a small amount, and pack it as discretely as you can.
What About Paraphernalia?
Even though CBD derived from hemp is technically legal, you still run the risk of being hassled at the airport, especially if the personnel is not knowledgeable about the difference.
TSA employees are not trained to know and detect differences between say THC and CBD products. You might be ok with CBD gummies derived from hemp, especially over bringing a nugget of flower. But there’s still no guarantee. And while you’ll most likely be able to fight your case later, at best you could end up with delays at security.
If you travel with a bowl or a bong that has resin but no flower, LAX will allow you to bring it through security, as long as it’s unusable. But you could still end up with delays.
If you want to make sure you have paraphernalia where ever you go, you could always order and send it to wherever you’re going. Check out this guide for everything bong related.
Weigh the Potential Repercussions
Make sure you do your research and read up on state laws and regulations before you travel. Especially if you’re determined to pack your pot, knowing your rights and being prepared puts you one step ahead.
While you might get a slap on the wrist or your marijuana confiscated at LAX, much worse could happen in an airport in another state. Decide if it’s worth it and be prepared for the worst, should it happen.
When you’re driving, make sure your paraphernalia is stored properly. Make sure that you aren’t under the influence while driving and that there is no smell in your car to imply that you are.
Traveling with Marijuana Is Still Risky
Many people use marijuana for their ailments. Just like any other medicine, it can be much harder to go through life without it than with it.
So if you’re traveling with marijuana no matter the potential risk, just be smart about it.
Take the smallest amount possible and make sure that it’s hidden well. It’s likely that if airport personnel sees it, especially in an airport like LAX, they’d rather ignore it than hold up security lines. That being said, they still have the authority to report it to local law enforcement.
There will come a day when it’s federally legal, but at this point in time it’s still federally illegal, so wherever you go, you still run the risk of being harassed or even arrested. Be as careful and mindful as you can before you travel.
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