Marijuana and travel is a tricky combo. Here’s what you should know before you get to the airport.
Traveling with marijuana shouldn’t be taken lightly. This week, it was announced that WNBA superstar Brittney Griner had been detained in Russia after her vape cartridges were spotted in her luggage. It’s a mistake that could result in a 10-year prison sentence.
While America doesn’t operate like Russia, cannabis still remains tricky. No matter the laws in the state you’re traveling to, marijuana remains a federally illegal drug in the U.S. Internationally, it’s even worse since cannabis is illegal in most countries.
If you’re considering traveling with a weed vape, here are some of the most important things you should know.
Wouldn’t it be great to not have to worry about weed when traveling? Sadly, we’re not there yet — far from it, in fact. On a national level, it all depends on the state. While some airports are fine with weed, others are not. For example, Denver’s airport, which is located in the very legal state of Colorado, forbids cannabis.
As for the Travel Security Administration (TSA), their stance is pretty clear. Since marijuana is federally illegal, passengers will be stopped if they have cannabis on them. Still, it helps to know your rights; don’t interact with police officers unless you have to and, if detained or arrested, let them know that you don’t consent to a search and that you want a lawyer.
While vape pens are discreet, it’s still important to be careful with these devices considering the fact that they’re illegal on a federal level. The TSA is not on the lookout for weed, they’re more concerned with things that can pose an immediate risk, but you never know what an agent might do if they stumble upon your vape during a security screening.
When it comes to international travel, weed is never a good idea. If traveling to a country with illegal cannabis, there’s no way of knowing what they could do and whether you could be arrested or not. And even if the country has a legal marijuana program, like Canada for example, traveling with marijuana remains illegal. “Cannabis is illegal in most countries. If you try to travel internationally with any amount of cannabis in your possession, you could face serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad,” according to the Canadian government website.
What about medical marijuana?
If you have a medical marijuana card, you might face fewer hurdles in airports. Still, it’s not a clear path and, if caught, you’re on the losing side of the argument. If caught with a weed pen having all of your documentation in hand might help you, including your doctor’s certificate, your marijuana medical ID card, and your physician’s number. Ideally, you’d be traveling to a state with medical marijuana reciprocity.
Bottom line: if traveling nationally with weed, the more discreet you are the better, and know that there’s always a degree of risk, no matter how farfetched it might seem. When traveling internationally, don’t do it. No matter the legal status of the drug, jail time is a real possibility and it’s best to be as careful as possible.