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Can You Travel With Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is known for its wonderful effects. It’s often prescribed as part of medical treatment to help patients combat stress, curb pain, reduce nausea, and alleviate the symptoms of some other serious ailments such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, Parkinson’s, and bipolar disorders. Not only that! Many people use it to soothe their minds, unwind after work, boost their confidence, improve their appetite and get a better night’s sleep. Its effects are numerous and diverse, but to make the most out of it, you should pick one from a trusted source. 

Due to all the benefits that medical marijuana brings, it is no surprise that many people are eager to take it with them on their trips. The question is, can you travel with weed? Would it not be considered a federal crime? This article answers these and other important questions to help you avoid getting in trouble. 

Driving With Medical Marijuana

While marijuana is legal in 38 states in the U.S., driving out of a state for another one with weed in your vehicle is subject to federal jurisdiction and, therefore, not safe. In fact, you may even get arrested if caught traveling with a load of weed. However, the keyword here is “load”. In reality, most people who only take a small amount of cannabis for a short trip and practice caution don’t get raided and manage to cross state lines. Here’s what you can do to stay out of trouble:

Use a Smell-Proof Storage Box

Most online cannabis stores sell special bags and containers, which help mask the smell of the weed, but you can always use your own. Just be sure to pair it with a scented candle, aromatic oils or air freshener to remove the distinctive weed smell. 

Don’t Consume Weed While Driving

As obvious as it may sound, you can’t smoke weed on the road. Even a slight smell of weed lingering in your car will be enough of a reason for the police to stop you for a search. You may get tempted to stop to spark up a blunt, but be aware that if the police see you, you will be charged with driving under the influence and, depending on the state, you may face more serious consequences. The only way you can smoke weed in your car is if the car is parked in a private lot and the keys are out of the ignition. 

Be Mindful of How Much You Take

Driving with weed isn’t safe and gets even worse the more cannabis you carry. So, it’s best to travel with just the amount required for your trip and then purchase more weed when you arrive at your destination. 

Traveling With Weed by Air

Unlike what most people believe, carrying the weed on a flight is much less troublesome than driving. That is because TSA officials are mostly focused on checking weapons, bombs, vehicle speeds, and other emergencies, and don’t have time to search for other stuff (weed). In fact, it’s not what they’d normally look for anyway, so even if they’d find it, they’d either call the local police or just turn a blind eye to it. However, if you are still nervous, here are a few tricks that may come to your help:

Don’t Carry Weed in a Checked Luggage

It may seem like packing the weed in your luggage is the safest option. However, the fact is, quite the opposite is true. Checked bags can be randomly searched, and if weed is found, you may end up being taken off a flight. The best thing to do would be to keep your bud in a pack of cigarettes or an empty medicine bottle where it won’t draw unwanted attention. 

Divide It as Much as Possible

If you are not sure about the amount of cannabis that is safe to carry with you, just divide it among several bags. A laptop bag, wallet, backpack— all of these options suit the purpose perfectly. However, never try to bring more than one ounce with you on a flight because it would be a serious federal offense and could even land you in prison.

Set Up Your Carry-On

As you go through the check-in process, make sure that you set your carry-on following TSA’s regulations and don’t carry any banned liquids, firearms, or sharp things with you. This will save you from having to open your bag and allow you to get through customs faster. 

Do Research

The best way to travel with weed is to do preliminary research on the laws of the country you’re traveling to. Although the laws in the U.S. are becoming looser in regard to the possession of recreational marijuana, some places in the world have no tolerance for it and would execute you even for a small amount. So, if you have the slightest doubt about the rules, it’s better not to take the risk and abandon the idea altogether—or buy cannabis upon arrival. 


All told, traveling with weed is quite risky but doable. As long as you understand the laws and don’t try to take too much with you, you should be able to get away with crossing most of the lines. At the same time, whenever possible, it may be best to leave cannabis behind since a lot of countries have their own dispensaries where you can get just the amount you need without putting yourself at risk. 

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