We don’t want to be sourpusses, but there is one important rule when travelling with marijuana: don’t carry it over state lines. Marijuana, no matter how medical, is federally illegal. Carrying cannabis over state lines is still a federal offence, and you can get arrested for it. Obamacare will not save you. The fact that you might be carrying it between two states where it’s recreationally legal will not save you. The fact that you have a recommendation and a whole team of superstar doctors saying “this person needs cannabis” will not save you. Do not become another unnecessary arrest in this ridiculous War on Weed.
Now, with that in mind, here are some pointers to travelling with your MMJ …
Can I use my medical marijuana card in another state?
Do you have friends and family there? Do you have residency, and can prove it with utility bills, bank statements, rental/mortgage agreements or any other proof of residency (cell phone bills don’t count)? Do you have valid, US-government-issued ID? You might even have a family doctor in the state, complete with medical records and everything.
Should you have all of these, then it might be worth getting yourself a medical marijuana recommendation and card and going to the dispensaries in whatever state you’re visiting. You’ll be doing everything by-the-book this way, and your chances of getting arrested and charged will dramatically reduce.
Which states have ‘MMJ reciprocity laws’ in place?
Some states actually recognize valid out-of-state medical marijuana card authorizations. Technically, California has reciprocity laws in place with other medical marijuana states, but individual dispensaries may still refuse. Other states that have reciprocity laws include:
- Arizona – you won’t be allowed to visit any state-sanctioned dispensary – you just won’t be arrested if you have 2.5 ounces or less of cannabis and a valid MMJ card
- Hawaii – there won’t be any dispensaries here until 2018, but your out-of-state medical marijuana card is valid here
- Maine – authorizes visiting qualifying patients with a valid registry ID card
- Michigan – out-of-state patients may be able to visit dispensaries, but Michigan’s laws are still quite strict – be careful!
- Nevada – your out-of-state MMJ card allows you to visit one of many Nevada’s brilliant dispensaries
- New Hampshire – no legal dispensaries running as of yet, but the state does recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards, and you are allowed to possess marijuana for medical reasons here
- Rhode Island – recognizes MMJ cards from other states, although you may not be able to visit dispensaries there
Remember, though: entry to a medical marijuana dispensary with an out-of-state medical marijuana card is at each individual dispensary’s discretion, even in states with reciprocity laws in place. They may say “yes”, they may say “no”. It is best to call ahead before making an entrance. Also, don’t get too upset if they say “no” – they probably just don’t want to take risks with their licenses and get shut down, even if they disagree with the laws. However, if you have a valid MMJ card in a state with reciprocity laws, this doesn’t mean you can’t get a hold of licensed growers directly …
Just ‘cause you have it, don’t mean you should flaunt it
So, you’re in a state with reciprocity laws and a valid MMJ card and you’ve managed to get a hold of some meds. Though this is good and exciting, it is still best to keep your cannabis use under wraps. Avoid public use (home use on your private residence is best), keep your goods sealed (preferably in airtight jars or containers that won’t carry smell), only carry around the amount you need and get a smell-proof backpack.
You and even the locals might not mind the smell of marijuana, but law enforcement agents might have a different idea. Also be wary if there are any schools or official government buildings nearby – marijuana use may be legal in some public areas, but not others.
It doesn’t have to be flowers …
Following on from the above, there are other forms of marijuana that don’t smell as much as flowers. Concentrates and extracts tend to smell a lot less, although you can still smell them if they are vaporized or combusted. Edibles are another way to reduce the smell, but the effects can be too overwhelming for public consumption, and some may get a little suspicious if you’re trying to sneak food into a bar or club.
Perhaps the best way to keep public marijuana use under wraps are tinctures. They don’t tend to smell very much if at all, dosage is relatively easy to measure, the effects often settle in a bit quicker than edibles do and you can easily slip a couple of drops into a cup or glass of coffee, tea, milkshake or even just good old water.
Finally – enjoy yourself!
Lots of medical marijuana users are active, keen outdoorsmen and women. Yes, there are some layabouts in the marijuana world too, but you’d want to do nothing more than layabout eating food and watching films as well if you’d just done a 20-mile hike through the mountains!
So if you like nature – and many cannabis lovers do – go out and see the beauty America has to offer. Being outdoors in clean air and surrounded by lots of beautiful landscape has significant health benefits of their own. Lowered blood pressure, reduced arthritic pain, weight control and lowered risks of developing certain cancers, diabetes and plenty of other conditions are all benefits of exercising generally. However, being surrounded by nature is particularly stress-busting, and can prove to be intellectually-stimulating as well as emotionally satisfying as well. After all, there is significant evidence showing that green spaces have significant physical and mental health benefits.
Are you from out-of-state and wondering if you’d be eligible for a medical marijuana card in California or Nevada? Then give us a call or send us an email today – we’d be happy to help in any way we can!