CBD products are everywhere and both medical and recreational marijuana are increasingly becoming legal throughout the United States, but marijuana and its derivatives are still illegal at the federal level. What, then, does that mean for travelers? While the TSA has lifted some restrictions on traveling with CBD products, many other marijuana products, including medical marijuana, are still prohibited and additional rules apply when traveling by car. With that in mind, individuals who seek to travel with any type of marijuana product should be aware of the potential legal consequences of doing so and what they can do to protect themselves.
Know The Law
When going through TSA screenings at the airport, you and your bags are being screened by federal employees, which means that, if they do find illegal drugs, TSA agents are required to report it to the appropriate authorities. That being said, marijuana products and CBD oil are not threats to air travel, which means that if the product is not obvious, you may be able to travel with few impediments. TSA agents are tasked with finding potential threats, like knives, guns, and bombs, not drugs.
If you are going to carry a CBD or marijuana product on an airplane, it’s best to avoid anything with obvious marijuana leaf markings and don’t carry hemp flowers, as they look similar to the marijuana plant. Instead, opt for products packaged like supplements or in non-descript packaging like that used for muscle balm or similar products.
Crossing State Lines
Another common issue that marijuana and CBD users face when traveling is the problem of driving across state lines. Though you aren’t automatically searched upon crossing state lines, if you transport a marijuana product from a state where it’s legal to another where it’s not – or simply to another state where you aren’t authorized to possess it – you may face legal repercussions. You could even be charged with drug possession or intent to distribute, requiring a personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the charges.
In Massachusetts, where recreational marijuana use recently became legal, multiple legal professionals have offered the same guidelines: stay in state with your products. Not only is it illegal to transport marijuana products across state lines, since interstate commerce is regulated by the federal government, but in some places where marijuana products are legal, neighboring states have set up border checkpoints to catch those traveling with marijuana. This is especially common in the states bordering Colorado.
Finally, if you’re going to be traveling with marijuana products, even medical marijuana, it’s important that you remain sober if you’re behind the wheel. It is illegal to drive while under the influence and you can be required to take a blood test if you’re involved in an accident. Traces of THC found in your blood can be used against you in court, even if you’re using a medical marijuana product that is primarily CBD. Experts also recommend that medical marijuana users always carry a copy of their medical orders with them, though this doesn’t technically provide legal protection.
Without changes to federal law, there is always a change that you will face legal repercussion, so go forth with caution. What’s legal in one state may not be legal just a few miles away in another, and ultimately federal law is the law of the land.