Cannabis is one of the most popular recreational “drugs” that has been legalized in many states across the US. There has been several decades worth of controversy over the legalization of marijuana, and despite that legal status in certain states, the drug remains illegal under federal law and its use, possession, and sale are prohibited. With immense opposition regarding the topic, there is confusion among travelers who are unsure of the laws surrounding marijuana use while traveling between states.
As of 2021, 36 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use, while 17 states have legalized the drug for recreational use. Essentially this means that in these states individuals over the age of 21 can purchase and use marijuana for recreational purposes without fear of legal consequences. However, it is important to note that the laws surrounding marijuana use and possession can vary greatly from state to state- warranting immense controversy. Being a Californian, cannabis laws have become more relaxed especially since the release and implementation of medical marijuana cards.
If you plan to use marijuana before, during, or after traveling, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the specific laws in the state where you will be going. For example, while recreational marijuana is legal in California, it is illegal to use the drug in public places or while driving. Another factor to consider is the amount of cannabis you are in possession of. This is another detail worth paying attention to as some states allow more or less ounces than others do. A gram can be the determining factor of whether or not you can be fined for possession of marijuana.
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that while marijuana may be legal in one state, it is still illegal under federal law and you may face legal consequences if you are caught using or possessing the drug while traveling on federal property, such as national parks or airports.
It is also important to keep in mind that while marijuana may be legal in one state, it is still illegal to transport the drug across state lines. This means that if you purchase marijuana in a state where it is legal, you cannot take it with you when you travel to another state where it is not legal.
Because there is a lot of information surrounding this topic, make sure to take that extra step and educate yourself!