Driving and Flying with Marijuana: Holiday Travel

Driving or Flying with Marijuana is a challenge a large number of medical marijuana patients may be forced to deal with over the 2013 holiday season.


Our marijuana criminal defense lawyers know that many medicinal marijuana patients must travel with their medicinal pot over the holiday season and caution patients to be careful.

Most experts recommend standard common sense should be used when traveling with marijuana, which is: don’t get caught. Marijuana is still outlawed by federal law even thought some 20 states have enacted laws decriminalizing or even legalizing marijuana for medical and/or recreational use.

Regardless of whether a driver has a medical license for their pot, getting caught could be a problem.

Federal statistics estimate that 91 percent of all holiday long-distance travel is via car with over 43 million Americans traveling over 50 miles for the thanksgiving holiday alone.

Under California law medicinal marijuana patients are really only permitted to travel with what they need related to the distance, timing, and method of transportation.

This means an individual can travel with enough for their own personal use only.

The biggest point of concern for those traveling with medicinal marijuana is that the laws of one state don’t go with you as you travel to another state.

This leads to a great deal of problems because individuals often see the freedom to be open about marijuana all around them when at home but then forget to put up their guard when they travel to jurisdictions with less marijuana friendly laws.

For example, a California medicinal marijuana user who drives sober to Arizona, Utah or Nevada may technically be driving under the influence the moment they cross state lines.

The regulations for drivers in Nevada are particularly tough. In Nevada an individual who is driving with even the smallest trace amounts of marijuana byproducts still in their bloodstream can be found guilty of DUI.

The problem with these types of enforcement measures is that trace amounts of these marijuana byproducts may remain in the human body for weeks after use.

Flying with marijuana is certainly changing. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) publicly announce a major relaxation in its policy regards to marijuana and stated they do not search for any drugs and if the TSA happens upon some illegal substances they will turn you over to local law enforcement.

Experts agree that the Transportation Security Administration is not interested in small amounts of pot.

There have been recent reports of individuals being waived through security with no issue by TSA agents after their marijuana had been revealed or discovered.

If flying with marijuana, some experts recommend sealing it up well and placing it in your checked luggage.

Although there are ways to minimize risk when traveling with marijuana, the best and least stressful option is always to avoid bringing medicinal marijuana with you on the road.

The CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.

More Blog Entries:

TSA Inconsistent Policies for Passengers with Marijuana, November 26, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog
Colorado Voters Support Tax on Marijuana Sales, November 24, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog

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