Is Traveling With Marijuana Considered A Drug Crime?

With various states beginning to implement laws that will legalize the use and purchase of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes, it makes sense to wonder whether you can travel with this drug. Whether you are traveling by automobile, airplane, or train, here's when you can and can't take weed with you:

When You Drive a Car

Although there are some states in which you can purchase marijuana legally, it doesn't mean that you can cross the border into another state and not suffer any criminal consequences if you're caught with the pot. For example, you may go to Colorado and purchase marijuana with no problem, but once you cross over into Nebraska, you are required to follow that state's laws. Since Nebraska has not legalized the possession of marijuana, you are at risk of being apprehended by police and charged with a drug crime. As long as you remain within the state and follow the state's possession laws, then you should be fine.

When You Board a Plane

Airports and its airplanes are overseen by the government, which means that the planes and the airport premises fall under federal law. Since marijuana possession is illegal in the government's eyes, despite the fact that some states have decriminalized the drug, you are breaking the law if you take marijuana with you into the airport and onto a plane.

However, according to the Transportation Security Administration, they aren't keeping their eyes wide open for pot. If the substance does appear during the airport's security screening, then TSA hands over the matter to local authorities. It is then up to them what they do with your possession of marijuana. However, one news article makes it seem as if authorities may give travelers the opportunity to get rid of the pot and avoid prosecution. The ways in which travelers can dispose of the drug varies from one state to the next. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, the airport has implemented an amnesty box that can be used to "throw away" the pot. However, in Washington, the marijuana must be surrendered to police who will then destroy it in a legal manner.

When You Travel on a Train

On the Amtrak, you cannot use or transport marijuana for any reason. This is true even in the states that have legalized marijuana use. Local transit companies will likely have adopted their own specific regulations regarding the use and transport of weed, so it is best to check with them beforehand.

If you've been charged with a drug crime, including the possession of marijuana while traveling, contact a drug charge attorney, like Pollack & Ball LLC, in your area who can help you understand your situation, including your rights and options.