If you have a serious and chronic illness that is difficult to treat or that produces a great deal of pain, then medical marijuana may be the solution to your ailment. If you live in one of the 23 states that allows for medical marijuana, then you can ask your physician or a pain specialist for a prescription. Once you start using the drug, you will most likely want to stay on the right side of the law. This may seem like a difficult prospect, especially since 27 states do not allow you to use the drug as a prescription. If you are concerned about inadvertently being charged with a criminal drug offense when you travel, then follow some of the tips below.
Be Aware of County Limits
If you travel a lot for work or pleasure within the same state, then you are legally able to take your marijuana with you. You probably will not have to go through any difficulties with the authorities, either. This is especially true if you live in a state that makes you register as a medical marijuana patient. The state database can be accessed by the police. However, keep in mind that you may not be able to keep as much of the drug with your depending on the county you are in.
For example, in California, all counties can set their own legal limits in regard to how much marijuana can be carried at one time. The limit must be at least one-half pound, but it may be higher. This means that you may live in a county that allows you to carry one pound of cannabis. If you travel to a county that only allows for a half pound of the drug, then you may get in trouble for carrying more. This can lead to an arrest and you may be charged with possessing marijuana quantities above your personal needs. This can lead to a fine and the possible revocation of your medical marijuana prescription or possession card.
However, if you live in a state like Maine, then you will be able to carry about 2.5 ounces with you no matter where you travel in the state. Your state has a voluntary registry though, that you may not have added your name to. This may cause issues and an arrest if you are unable to prove that you are a legal medical marijuana user.
Due to the differences in state laws, make sure to speak with your physician or state health department about registering as a medical marijuana user in your state, even if this is voluntary. Also, when you travel to another county, call the police department for the city and ask about maximum marijuana carry limits. If the limit does not allow you to bring enough of your medication with you, then many states will allow physicians to exempt patients from limits if they need to carry more.
Understand State Laws
If you happen to be traveling out of state, then you need to be extremely careful about taking your medication with you. If you travel to a state that does not allow residents to use medical marijuana, then you can be charged with possession of a controlled substance. This is true even if you are a registered and legal user in your own state. Depending on the amount that you bring with you, you can be federally charged with trafficking of marijuana since you have crossed from one state to another. The only time that you may not face an issue is if you bring a small amount of cannabis with you and the state has decriminalized the drug. This means that you will be seen as possessing a personal amount of marijuana.
If you are traveling to a state that allows for the medicinal use of marijuana, you probably still cannot bring the cannabis with you. Most states do not recognize medical cards or prescriptions that have been issued by another state. You will need to seek out a new prescription and dispensary when you reach the state you are traveling to. Ask your physician for a referral before you leave on your trip so you can arrange for your medication as soon as you arrive. For more information on your rights, consult resources like Kassel & Kassel A Group of Independent Law Offices.