Now that 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis on some level, there are bound to be people who are or want to travel with marijuana. Consuming the weed in a legal state is always best, but sometimes you need to travel to or through a non-legal state with your cannabis for medical reasons. Other people may want to bring a few goodies home from a legalized state. Traveling with cannabis, however, is a risk.
The way you travel can change the risks. Contrary to popular belief, flying with marijuana is less risky than driving with it. Both require their own special precautions, however, and you should take care to do your best to ensure you’ve stored your cannabis properly to lessen the chances of getting caught. By choosing to travel in states where cannabis is not legal, you do so at your own risk.
You can reduce the risk by ordering from a secure website like TheAmsterdam, though some sites may not ship to states where cannabis is not legalized.
Driving with Cannabis
The first thing to remember when considering traveling across state lines with cannabis is that it is a federal offense. This goes the same for those crossing into the United States from Canada or Mexico by vehicle. Also, even in a legalized state, if you find yourself driving through a national park, you are technically under federal jurisdiction. Keep these things in mind when planning your routes.
The next thing to consider when traveling is each state’s laws. In legalized states, the amount of flower and concentrates that a person can carry is limited. For example, in California, that amount is up to one ounce of weed and less than four grams of concentrates.
You may even want to look up the laws in the non-legal states you will be traveling through. Most states have different laws for what you can be charged with depending on the quantity of cannabis you’re carrying. Facing a citation is a lot different than facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge. It can be quite easy to step over that line when you’re carrying a large amount.
Packaging is almost as important as being aware of the laws. The number one thing to consider is to pack it in an odor-proof container. There is a large choice of such storage containers online. You can also vacuum seal your cannabis on top of putting it in an odor-proof container. Remember, cannabis has a very distinct odor that cops are trained to smell. They can bring in drug dogs and do a cursory sniff around your vehicle if they believe there is probable cause to do so.
Now that we’ve covered being aware of laws and storage, where to put your stash? The absolute best place is the trunk of the car. Some states, like California, have made laws that dictate that when transporting marijuana, it needs to be stored out of the reach of drivers and passengers. It should never be in an open container in plain view.
Finally, while it may be tempting, you should never smoke while driving or drive shortly after you’ve smoked. Not only is it dangerous to others on the roadway, if caught, you could find yourself facing both DUI and possession charges, depending on where you are. Some states are less tolerant than others when it comes to DUI charges and you don’t want to find yourself stuck in a state with strict DUI laws.
When driving, it is probably best to travel with oil or wax concentrates stored in a vape pen. Officers are now trained to look for these, too, however, so don’t be surprised if an officer wants to test the contents of your vaporizer. However, there is generally less odor with vape pens than with dried flowers, so there is slightly less risk there.
Flying with Cannabis
It may be easier to fly with cannabis, but keep in mind that policies will differ widely from state to state. Air travel is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration and they make it clear that there will be no marijuana allowed on flights. While airports themselves belong to the state or city they are in, the ramps, taxiways, and immediate surrounding areas are under the control of the FAA.
As with travel by car, attempting to fly with cannabis is risky. If you are traveling to countries where marijuana is illegal, there could be consequences if caught. However, traveling with cannabis by air is still much easier than traveling by vehicle. Here’s one of the main reasons why.
The TSA is more concerned with catching passengers that have explosives or weapons. They’re not in the business of looking for your stash. If they do find marijuana in your carry-on or in your luggage, there are two possibilities. If you are in a state that is legal, they will likely just have you give the stash to a friend not boarding the plane, put it in an amnesty box, or throw it away. If you are caught in a state where cannabis is not legal, they will refer the matter to local authorities.
If you are going to take that flight and your stash must come with you, there are a few ways to try and get it by the authorities. The first rule of thumb is to not be greedy. Packing a mason jar filled with a few grams of your favorite strain likely won’t set off any alarm bells. Trying to carry more, however, might just lead you to get your stash confiscated and yourself arrested.
Another rule is to avoid checking your weed in with your luggage. Random drug searches are a thing at airports and getting caught could have disastrous consequences. Instead, bring it with you on your carry-on. In fact, follow these tips for how to package and store your cannabis when getting onto a plane.
- If you’re carrying joints, put them in a cigarette pack along with some other cigarettes.
- If you’re carrying a few grams of bud, stash it in the bottom of an over-the-counter medication bottle. Put the medication back in above it, then the cotton.
- Edibles are the easiest to fly with. Stash your gummies in a gummy bear bag. Cookies can be stuffed into a Chips Ahoy package. You get the picture, right?
- Wax and oil can be hidden in candy bags as well. You can also carry it in a vape pen. Keep liquids limited to 3 oz or less.
The scanners that your luggage goes through are looking for things much more sinister than your stash of bud. They can identify liquids and other weapons or bomb components, but there’s no way the scanner can identify each item in your bag. Properly camouflaged, you should have no worries about your stash getting confiscated.
The final word on traveling with cannabis is that you do so at your own risk. Any of the suggestions above might help you to get away with it, but if you are caught, you may face serious consequences, especially in states where cannabis is not legal. It’s better for you to do your buddy or relative a solid and leave it with them before you go.