Now that Illinois is set to start selling marijuana to adults 21 and over in a matter of six months, there is no doubt that stoners from neighboring prohibition states — Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and Kentucky — are going to want to visit the area for the sole purpose of getting their hands on some hassle-free green. But while waiting, here are some tips on how to not get busted smuggling marijuana.
In fact, the law in Illinois allows adult non-residents to purchase marijuana from any retail dispensary as long as they have a photo ID. These consumers can only buy half the amount that is allowed to official residents. This means each non-resident will be permitted to walk away from a weed store with only 15 grams of marijuana — roughly around a half ounce. From there, finding a place to partake could prove challenging.
But it is not advised to travel back to your home state with marijuana in tow. You’ve got to know that it is considered federal drug trafficking to smuggle any amount of marijuana across state lines. And all of the state laws come with their own set of pot penalties that can lead to both jail and massive fines. That said, we realize that many of you will take the risk anyway and try to bring some of that Illinois marijuana home with you. However, in the interest of keeping you out of jail, we have assembled a short list of rules that should be adhered to when engaging in this illegal activity.
Travel In A Clean Vehicle
Like it or not, the reason stereotypes exist is that there is an element or two of truth in most of them. Traveling to Illinois for marijuana in an old, beat up van plastered with Grateful Dead stickers might sound like the appropriate way to go, but it is a sure fire way of getting harassed by police. It is best to travel in a newer vehicle – preferably one free of window stickers or any other decals that might allow cops to profile you as a marijuana user. You want a ride that says: “Hello, officer: I have a job, I pay my taxes and I’m a responsible, law-abiding citizen with no interest in weed.”
Make sure the vehicle is fully functional – see that all of your lights (front and back) are working properly before hitting the road.
Also, make sure the interior of the car is spotless. Cops are less likely to search a clean vehicle. Get rid of the fast food bags on the floorboard, and eliminate the various odds and ends – clothes, etc. — that people tend to toss in their backseats. If an officer does pull you over in Iowa, you want them to see the inside of your car as close to showroom spotlessness as possible. We don’t wish to give them any reason to suspect that there might be weed in the car. Clean vehicles just provide the illusion that the person driving has their act together and is not someone who would smuggle drugs. This doesn’t come with a 100 percent guarantee, but it will certainly help.
Do Not Smoke Marijuana in the Vehicle
We realize that sometimes a road trip is just better with a little buzz. We totally get it. But if you are smuggling any amount of marijuana from a legal state into an area of prohibition, this is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make.
In the event a police officer does pull you over for whatever reason (swerving over the center line, speeding) you had better believe they are going to search your vehicle as soon as they catch a whiff of weed. In fact, if you have ever smoked pot in your car before, it might be best to find an alternative ride before making that visit to Illinois. We want to eliminate any chance whatsoever of a cop “thinking” that he or she smells weed during a traffic stop.
Obey the Traffic Laws
This is a no-brainer, yet we feel compelled to reiterate the importance of obeying the rules of the road. Anyone in possession of marijuana that insists on driving like an idiot is just begging for trouble. Just travel like a safe, responsible citizen and you should be fine.
Travel With Edibles and Vapes As Opposed to Flower
Although a lot of people still prefer flower, it has a potent odor that all cops by now have come to recognize. The thing about pot odor is, no matter how much you try to contain them, they permeate. This might make it easier for a cop to smell it in the vehicle (even if you can’t) and it will certainly get a K-9 riled up. Our advice is to travel only with edible pot products and disposable vapes. These types of items do not reek like raw flower and they are less conspicuous.