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Traveling With Marijuana in the US: What You Need to Know

Traveling With Marijuana in the US: What You Need to Know

Marijuana has been a popular topic for quite some time now. Most people who use marijuana are left confused with all of the rules and regulations changing regarding marijuana being legal or not. One of the biggest confusions are the laws about traveling with marijuana.



Regardless if you live in a state where marijuana is fully legal or not, you need to know the ins and outs that come with traveling with cannabis. Knowing the laws regarding cannabis will either make or break your vacation, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly.


Our goal is to inform those who are looking to travel across the country while carrying weed.

What States is Marijuana Legal?

Decriminalized Marijuana

There are still a lot of states who have not fully legalized the use of marijuana. Although they haven’t legalized marijuana yet, many individual states have decided that they should decriminalize marijuana.


Now, the laws have changed with the result of someone with possession of marijuana. There is no more jail time for those who are in possession of smaller amounts of marijuana.


If you’re caught with a much more substantial amount of weed, you’ve previously been convicted, or you get caught trafficking or selling marijuana, it will still result in a much harsher penalty.


A total of 15 states have decriminalized the use of marijuana. Those states include

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii (Goes Into Effect In January 2020)
  • Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri
  • Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island

Each state has its list of regulations to follow, so make sure you read to see how harsh the penalties are.

Legal Medical Marijuana

If you’re looking to get medical marijuana, you’re going to need a licensed doctor in the state where it’s legal, write you a recommendation. You must have a qualifying condition for a doctor to recommend medical marijuana to you. Most states require you to get a medical marijuana ID card, as well. Once you have the marijuana card, you’re able to go to local dispensaries to purchase marijuana.


Medical marijuana has been legalized in over thirty-four states. The individual states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana include: 

  • Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas
  • California, Colorado, Connecticut
  • Delaware, District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana
  • Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota
  • Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington, West Virginia


Recreational Use of Marijuana is Legal in These States

The recreational use of marijuana intends to change one’s state of consciousness positively. In most states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, allow you to purchase marijuana at recreational dispensaries by anyone. You must be over 21 years or older with a government-issued ID that is valid.


Eleven states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Those states include:

  • Alaska
  • California, Colorado
  • Illinois (beginning January 2020)
  • Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Marijuana is still Federally illegal

Marijuana being federally illegal is where it can be tricky for cannabis users since we just listed out what states allow the use of cannabis.


Although medical cannabis laws have changed in over 40 states, marijuana is still marked illegal under federal laws. Americans For Safe Access stated, “The federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (21 USC § 811), which does not recognize the difference between medical and recreational use of cannabis.”


Under the current federal laws, unfortunately, cannabis is still treated like all other controlled substances as a Schedule 1 drug.

Driving With Weed in Your Car

Everyone needs to understand that regardless of each state’s laws, driving with cannabis across state lines is a federal offense.


If you’re driving in a state that has legalized the adult-use of marijuana, driving from city-to-city becomes much less dangerous. You still need to make sure you’re always aware of the amount of weed you have to confirm it is within the exact legal amount for the state you’re in.


One thing that usually goes overlooked is the open-container law with regards to marijuana. Some states mandate that it is illegal to possess an open container/ package of cannabis (or even just cannabis products) while operating, driving, or riding in a motor vehicle, boat, vessel, aircraft, or other vehicle used for transportation.


This law is meant to keep the general public safe as some strands of marijuana are much stronger than others and to reduce the risk of using marijuana and then to operate a vehicle of any kind. Remember, getting high and operating a vehicle is still very much illegal.

Trying to Fly with Weed

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states, “Marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law to local, state, or federal authorities.”

The TSA did, however, change their stance on flying with CBD oil when they stated, “Products/medications that contain hemp-derived CBD or are approved by the FDA are legal as long as it is produced within the regulations defined by the law under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018,”


Traveling with marijuana on a plane from state to state is still illegal, so best not to risk it at all.