Travel with Medical Marijuana Is Risky

Americans traveling with medical marijuana find the going can be tricky. Legal consequences range from being asked to dump your pot at the airport to dealing with local law enforcement. Americans who leave the country can face a prison sentence in some countries with a hardline stance against marijuana.

There are 21 states that don’t allow you to use marijuana, even if you have a prescription from a doctor. If you’re heading to a state where medical marijuana isn’t legal, you’re subject to prosecution if local law enforcement finds your weed.

Any time you travel outside your state with medical marijuana, you’re transporting a federally restricted substance across state lines. Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. It doesn’t matter whether you go plane, train, or bicycle or whether you travel from one state where it’s legal to another where it’s legal. You’re crossing a state line.

Airports differ in their policies about marijuana, but when you reach the security checkpoints, you’re entering federal territory. The Transportation Security Administration’s screening procedures lists medical marijuana as a prohibited item. The prohibition extends to cannabis-infused products, such as cannabidiol (CBD) oil.

TSA screeners will handle marijuana found on a traveler or in their luggage as they would other illegal items. They refer the matter to law enforcement, and local law enforcement can vary. Even if you get through security, American Airlines and other airlines don’t allow passengers to transport marijuana on their flights.

Traveling with medical marijuana can be even more serious when entering other countries. In the United Arab Emirates, carrying even small amounts of marijuana can lead to a four-year jail sentence. The jail sentence in Japan, which has a zero-tolerance policy on marijuana, can be at least five years.


Linda Parham

Linda Parham is a journalist and writer who enjoys creating entertaining blogs. She started out as a newspaper reporter before moving on to editing magazines and newsletters. Linda specializes in writing about beauty, health, fitness, business and politics.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Your locale for the best advice on
fashion, health, and beauty


Subscribe to our newsletter to get exclusive information on today's trends in fashion, beauty, and more!

By clicking submit, I authorize Think Glamor and its affiliated companies to: (1) use, sell, and share my information for marketing purposes, including cross-context behavioral advertising, as described in our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, (2) supplement the information that I provide with additional information lawfully obtained from other sources, like demographic data from public sources, interests inferred from web page views, or other data relevant to what might interest me, like past purchase or location data, (3) contact me or enable others to contact me by email with offers for goods and services from any category at the email address provided, and (4) retain my information while I am engaging with marketing messages that I receive and for a reasonable amount of time thereafter. I understand I can opt out at any time through an email that I receive, or by clicking here.

Skip to content