The Legalities Of Medical Marijuana While Traveling

Medical Marijuana What you need to know.
Every year, thousands of people who are prescribed medicines for pain develop crushing addictions that can last a lifetime. What’s more, most of these medications cause other side effects, many of which can be fatal. This is why medical grade marijuana has become popular as a healthier alternative to these harsh drugs. However, each state has its own Medical regulated Marijuana Program (MMP) permit regulations.


Even if particular states or counties authorize the use of marijuana, individual jurisdictions can ban or restrict them. Because of this, people who travel outside of their counties should thoroughly understand what the laws are about possessing and using medical grade marijuana.

State laws generally provide exemptions from local and state prosecution for patients and care givers who possess a Marijuana Registry Identification card. However, this mandate is only applied if the limits and quantities are adhered to. If they aren't, consequences can be high. As noted by attorneys at Johnson, Johnson & Baer, "The effects of these penalties are huge, and can have an extremely long lasting effect on your life and livelihood." Therefore, it is very important that those guidelines are followed at all times, even while at home.

If, however, it is necessary for patients to go over those limits, an affirmative defense may exist to criminal charges when it can be shown that increased amounts of marijuana are medically necessary to address a patient’s condition. Even with this provision, patients should do everything possible to remain within the legal limits, particularly while traveling.

Protecting Rights

State laws require people to provide identification when asked to do so by police. However, it is recommended that anyone stopped for any reason not engage in long discussions or interrogations with authorities before contacting a lawyer to represent them. Simply state that you are a medical marijuana patient who is licensed under the law to possess and consume marijuana. Provide the medical card that was issued along with the doctor’s recommendation for the use of medical grade marijuana. When police ask for voluntary discussions, inform them that you will comply with questions as soon as an attorney representing you is present.


Those who are using medical marijuana should take precautions at all times. For instance:

1. Always have identification and proper documentation with you.

2. Store the marijuana in just a few containers to avoid the police claiming there is an attempt to sell or distribute medicine. Keep every container labeled clearly as Marijuana for Medical Use.

3. Keep the marijuana concealed well such as in the trunk.

4. Never smoke and drive or have the marijuana visible in a vehicle.

5. Be discreet. Ensure that there is always proper ventilation whenever smoking the marijuana. Refrain from smoking it in front of unknown people at any time.

6. Stay within legal limits for marijuana. If your condition requires more, ask the prescribing doctor to include this in their recommendations and documentation that you keep with you at all times.

7. According to federal law, it is not acceptable to fly on commercial airliners with marijuana for any purpose. If it is found by the TSA, the matter will be immediately referred to the police. Therefore, contact a lawyer to get advice on how to proceed or try contacting the police beforehand to alert them about the situation. They may have a procedure in place to rectify the situation.

Anyone who has been charged for possession of marijuana as a result of using it for a medical condition should seek counsel. Talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible prior to answering questions other than providing your name and documentation verifying the legal right to use medical marijuana.

Nadine Swayne provides this information to documented medical marijuana users that are traveling.


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