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Traveling with Medical Marijuana


Medical marijuana is becoming an increasingly popular medicinal solution for many Americans. While the medical uses of marijuana have been legalized in several states, the use of marijuana (recreational or medicinal) is still illegal under federal law. The complexity of laws can make it difficult when trying to understand how to travel with one's prescribed marijuana safely and legally. If you are ever cited for traveling with medicinal marijuana it is always crucial to immediately contact an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney such as those at The Meranda Law Firm.

Traveling Domestically

Traveling domestically, within the United States, with a medical marijuana prescription can be done fairly easily with a little bit of education. If you are traveling by way of a vehicle it is perfectly acceptable to carry prescribed medicinal marijuana with you on your trip as long as you remain within the borders of states that have legalized marijuana for that use.

However, if during your travel you must go through a state that has not yet legalized the substance you are quickly vulnerable to both their laws as well as penalties. In addition, areas considered to be solely governed by the federal government (think Washington D.C., national reservations and national parks) are only subject to federal law.

If an area is only subject to federal law then it is always illegal to be in possession of medical marijuana. It is also always illegal to be behind the wheel of the vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. DWI/DUI standards are extremely low for marijuana usage in comparison to acceptable alcohol levels. Therefore, even if you are not cited for possessing the substance you can be charged for being under the influence. Traveling domestically by flight can be a more difficult scenario.

Air flights are governed by federal agencies such as TSA, Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Transportation. Therefore, the short answer would be that traveling on a plane with medical marijuana is not advisable. However, it is acceptable to call both the departing and arriving airports to check their specific guidelines on traveling with medical marijuana.

More often than not, airports allow local officials to handle the possession of marijuana per local laws. In other cases, airports will force you to discard the substance before boarding, even if they do not deem the possession to be "illegal". This is similar to other guidelines such as throwing away a full bottle of water before boarding.

No matter how you travel within the U.S. with your prescribed medical marijuana it is always advisable to pack your carrying card, a statement from your provider and any additional documentation from your state to show your medicine's recommended use.

Traveling Internationally

Traveling internationally with medical marijuana has very clear and straight-forward guidelines: It is always unacceptable. Even if you carry a prescription or are departing from a state in which medical marijuana usage is legalized, it is never a good idea to travel internationally with a controlled substance. Criminal charges in a foreign country can be complex, tedious, and highly unpleasant. It is never a good decision to carry your prescription with you internationally.

How the Meranda Law Firm Can Help

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges due to traveling with medical marijuana it is best to contact the experienced defense attorneys of the Meranda Law Firm for a case evaluation right away. With a team of competent attorneys exclusively practicing criminal defense law, our Ohio criminal defense attorneys are uniquely positioned to represent your case.

Call our team today to protect your rights (614) 707-4239!