All you need to know about traveling with medical marijuanaErica Smith
With the way today’s world has to deal with cannabis, circumventing the restrictions on medicinal marijuana (MMJ) is immensely difficult. In the US, certain states permit you to travel with your medicines as long as you can affirm that you are a patient, whereas the other states are adamantly against this specific practice, this puts the MMJ patients in a perplexing liminal space. There still is no answer to the desires of patients who wish to visit other nations. there still is not much information about the consequences, unless someone gets in trouble and gets arrested there might not even be any.
In this particular piece, we’ll discuss the subject of traveling with medicinal marijuana both domestically and internationally to provide you with some factors to consider well before you leave the house with your medicinal herbs.
Traveling within the borders of the US
The very first key point is to be aware that it is forbidden for cannabis consumables, which shall include the flower, consumables, medicines, and everything else that includes THC, to be transported beyond the borders of the particular jurisdiction in which they were legally acquired. It is suggested that you do some proactive research about the marijuana regulations in the region you want to visit, this shall avoid the risk of putting your safety in danger. ensure that all the information that you read is up to date and relevant since marijuana regulations appear to fluctuate quite often.
Although if you visit a jurisdiction wherein cannabis is permitted for recreational use, which may include Florida or any other, or a state where it is legal for medicinal consumption, such as Colorado or California, you still need to catch insights on the local medical use regulations since even county laws can differ wildly. Cannabis remains to be a Schedule I restricted substance in the United States, hence it is crucial for MMJ patients to theoretically break the law wherever they visit because it is still prohibited by federal law. Patients also stand the threat of being accused of a crime if they cross state borders with cannabis.
You should do research on which states cooperate with MMJ patients, and learn their names by heart. The simpler way out is to enroll in the particular state’s MMJ program beforehand, collect your card, and then purchase your medicines after your arrival.
Traveling via air With Medical Marijuana
If you plan on traveling via air, it becomes crucial for you to familiarize yourself with the guidelines established by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in addition to the norms set for each specific airline and airport. The TSA shall authorize certain medicines, such as Epidiolex and cannabidiol (CBD) products produced from hemp, however, they have to notify the law enforcement officer about any illicit chemicals they detect through standard screening operations. Additionally, many airports provide the facility of “amnesty boxes” which allows travelers to discreetly abandon any cannabis products that are not authorized.
Apart from the products that have been approved by the FDA, cannabis flower and other cannabis-infused products, which may also include certain CBD products that contain more than 0.3% THC, are still declared illegal under federal law. Being a government organization, the TSA is bound to follow federal laws, which do not acknowledge the legality of cannabis in any form. Although, you should always remember that TSA security agents do not purposefully look for marijuana or other drugs during security screenings; instead, they are entirely focused on safety and preventing any commodity that might harm the aviation or passengers.
The reality is that even if you have documents confirming that you are a medical marijuana patient, it is still unlawful to fly with cannabis, and TSA personnel do not explicitly check for it. Medical marijuana can be transported in second luggage or a carry-on bag, as mentioned on the website of TSA, however, this regulation is still subjected to “specific instructions.”, which you shall abide by. According to the agency, “The right to make the final decision if an item is allowed past the checkpoint remains with the TSA officer.” In the end, it is completely up to you whether or not to bring your medication along with you while traveling via flight.
Traveling on road With Medical Marijuana
The same information that was listed for air travel shall be followed for travel via road as well. Although you may find a set of specific guidelines regarding traveling with cannabis that is provided by many trains, buses, and ride-sharing services. Regrettably, the majority of them will tell you not to carry your medicines along with you. In the end, it’s strongly advised to just refrain from driving when intoxicated if you don’t want to suffer any complications.
It is recommended that you should try to keep your driving lowkey if you do decide to carry medical marijuana. Moreover, in any case, you must never consume a medicine while driving or drive while having consumed that medication in most places, a police officer will have a warrant to search your vehicle if they detect even a minor smell of marijuana. Having that been mentioned it is also crucial for you to understand how to safely store your cannabis before you travel and avert traveling with open containers or visible exposure.
It is extremely important to strictly avoid consuming cannabis in neighborhoods with schools or childcare facilities. Within the diameter of 1000 feet from these establishments, it is prohibited by law to possess cannabis, and the ones who violate such guidelines shall be subjected to further penalties. Hence it is strongly advised to avoid cannabis in such areas, it would be in everyone’s favor.
How to Travel Internationally With Medical Marijuana
It is strongly suggested that you educate yourself about the regional cannabis regulations if you wish to visit a foreign country. Every country adheres to its marijuana laws, and violating them can result in significant repercussions. For instance, let us consider the case of the New Yorker who brought 19 grams of cannabis medicine with her on a trip to Russia.
According to the state of New York, she was allowed to take her medication as a resident of that area and was dependent on the use of medicinal marijuana as prescribed by the state. Any of these laws do not, unfortunately, hold in Russia. The laws in Russia differ greatly for reasons of it being a whole other nation. She was promptly detained and forced to spend more than a month in jail after the detection of cannabis in her luggage. Despite the fact that the patient was eventually released, it’s not common for every case like this to have a happy ending as such. It’s advisable to completely eliminate carrying medicinal marijuana on overseas flights because the regulations there can be considerably stricter compared to those in the United States.
Establish an awareness about your rights and use your mind when needed
It has been noticed that despite state regulations, law enforcement persists in pursuing individuals based on their own speculations owing to the fact that they are generally uneducated about medicinal cannabis in general. You must gain insights into the rights that you possess if you decide to use cannabis in public. There are certain rules that empower you to deny the consent for a police search if you get pulled over. You should also be aware of the fact that any evidence that is acquired during a search that you authorize can be very well used against you in court.
On the contrary hand, any evidence is promptly dismissed in the court of law if you object in case the search is deemed to be unlawful. However, it is crucial to understand that in any case, you should never resist police officers physically. If they desire to search even after you disagree, say it again firmly and loud enough for passersby to hear. In the case that you are charged with any cannabis-related offenses, it is suggested for you to always carry the documentation of your MMJ patient status on you and be prepared to show it, if needed.
Key message: be responsible while consuming
It is crucial for cannabis to be handled with caution if it is to be treated seriously. This means that you should be willing enough to adhere to all local, national, and international regulations in addition to acting responsibly and discreetly about its consumption. Don’t let your lack of knowledge result in you ending up in jail for consuming marijuana.
Additionally, if you are someone who cannot spend a day without the consumption of your medications then you should understand that you won’t have access to your cannabis prescription during your time in jail. It is crucial for all patients to understand the complicated maneuvers for surviving in a society that is extremely against them. If not, then you might also end up suffering the instance that occurred with the lady who smuggled marijuana into Russia.