Taking medical marijuana on a trip can be tricky and requires thoughtful planning. This guide provides straightforward tips for those looking to travel with medical marijuana.
Keep in mind that this post isn’t a source of legal guidance. This guide can be used as a framework for understanding your state’s laws and regulations.
Before you set out on your travels, make sure to look up and understand the medical marijuana laws of the place you’re going to. These laws vary in different states. Some places might accept your medical marijuana card, but others won’t. Being aware of these differences is key to preparing well and steering clear of legal issues.
Traveling in the United States with medical marijuana is legal if there’s a reciprocity program. In states that have reciprocity, they respect and follow each other’s laws, meaning your medical marijuana card will be valid in a state with reciprocity.
If you’re heading to a state that has medical marijuana reciprocity, make sure to find out if you need to register for that state’s medical marijuana program to legally use medical cannabis.
Bring your medical marijuana card or proof of your medical marijuana patient status.. These prove your legal right to have and use medical cannabis. Bring your prescription or a recommendation from your healthcare provider that explains why you need medical cannabis.
When you’re traveling, think about the most convenient and legal ways to carry your medical marijuana. Choices like vapes, edibles, and tinctures might be easier for travel. But always make sure to follow the laws of the place you’re going.
Pack your medical cannabis according to the transportation rules of your chosen travel method. For flying, get to know the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines. The TSA is mainly concerned with safety, they could potentially report any illegal substances they find during security screenings.
Traveling with medical marijuana is safest in your own car. But if you’re using a rental or someone else’s vehicle, things can get complicated, especially when passing through states with strict medical marijuana laws.
Never use marijuana while driving and follow all traffic rules to lower the chance of getting stopped by the police.
When traveling, it is best to keep your medicine in your trunk.
Since the early 2000s and the September 11th tragedy, TSA has tightened its security measures. But the strict rules on cannabis go back to President Richard Nixon’s time and the start of the war on drugs. In short: it’s illegal to fly with cannabis.
TSA agents aren’t actively looking for medical marijuana or other drugs in your luggage. But if they come across anything that looks like an illegal substance, they have to report it to local law enforcement.
Remember, the TSA isn’t the only group you need to consider when flying. Some major airlines prohibit all marijuana, including medical marijuana, on their flights. According to these rules, you can’t travel with even a small amount of medically prescribed cannabis.
Flying with medical marijuana comes with many legal risks. It’s best to leave your medical cannabis card at home when flying or to choose a different way to travel.
The United States Coast Guard advises you to keep your marijuana at home. When traveling on waterways, it’s easy to unknowingly move from one area of legal authority to another. If you sail into a place where marijuana is illegal, you’ll have to follow those laws.
When using public transportation, be advised that trains and buses have specific rules.
For instance, Greyhound doesn’t allow the use or transport of cannabis on their vehicles, even in states where it’s legal.
You can’t smoke weed on subways and commuter trains. The MTA in New York prohibited all smoking back in 1988. As for carrying your medical marijuana, subways and commuter trains each have their own set of rules that you need to follow.
The safest advice for anyone looking to travel internationally with medical marijuana is: don’t do it.
Many countries are very strict on drug offenses, including the use of medical marijuana, depending on where you travel. China has severe penalties for bringing marijuana across its borders.
Japan has a zero-tolerance policy towards cannabis as well. The country has the most severe punishment for those who violate its cannabis laws. If you’re caught with cannabis, you could end up in prison for up to five years and be fined as much as $18,000 USD.
If you’re caught growing or selling cannabis, the consequences are even tougher, potentially leading to up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $27,000.
It’s important to know and follow the laws about using medical marijuana in public at your destination. Even in areas where medical marijuana is allowed, using it in public places is prohibited. Always read your state’s laws.
Traveling with medical marijuana can be tricky. Stay updated on the latest state and federal laws to make sure it’s legal to bring medical marijuana to your destination.
To use medical marijuana safely and legally in your home state, get your medical marijuana card through TeleLeaf. We are an online telemedicine clinic helping qualified patients connect with credible doctors on our website.
The patients always come first at TeleLeaf. We provide educational information to our patients for them to decide on how to create better healthcare outcomes as medical cannabis patients.
The Medical Cannabis Patient’s Guide for U.S. Travel – Safe Access Now
Visiting Patients and Medical Cannabis Laws – Medical Marijuana Project
Does the TSA Check for Drugs? (Drug Detection Methods and Technologies – Executive Flyers
Drug War History – Drug Policy
Can You Fly With Marijuana? Legalities and Risks – Upgraded Points