Cannabis legalization in the United States has been a complex and evolving issue over the past several decades. As of September 2021, cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use in 18 states and the District of Columbia, while medical use is legal in an additional 13 states. However, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level under the Controlled Substances Act, which classifies it as a Schedule I drug with no medical value and a high potential for abuse.
The movement to legalize cannabis gained momentum in the 1990s and early 2000s, as states began to pass laws allowing medical use of cannabis for certain conditions. California was the first state to legalize medical cannabis in 1996, and since then, many other states have followed suit. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis for recreational use, and several other states have since followed.
Legalization of cannabis at the state level has been driven by a number of factors, including the desire to reduce the harms of prohibition, increase tax revenue, and provide access to medical cannabis for those in need. Supporters of legalization argue that it can help reduce the harms of drug use, such as mass incarceration and the criminalization of people of color, and that it can generate significant tax revenue for states.
As cannabis legalization continues to expand around the world, many travelers may be wondering about the best practices for traveling with cannabis. While some countries have legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational use, other countries still have strict laws regarding cannabis possession and use. Therefore, it is important to research the laws and regulations of your destination before bringing cannabis with you.
Here are some best practices for traveling with cannabis:
- Research local laws and regulations: Before you travel with cannabis, you should research the laws and regulations of your destination. Some countries and states have legalized cannabis, while others have strict laws that prohibit cannabis possession and use. It is important to understand the laws of your destination and make sure that you are not breaking any laws by bringing cannabis with you.
- Use discreet packaging: When traveling with cannabis, it is important to use discreet packaging. This can help you avoid drawing unwanted attention to yourself and can also help protect your cannabis from damage. Use smell-proof bags or containers to keep your cannabis odor contained, and avoid using containers with logos or branding that might attract attention.
- Bring only what you need: When traveling with cannabis, it is important to bring only what you need. Bringing large amounts of cannabis may not only be illegal, but it can also attract unwanted attention. If you are traveling with cannabis for medical purposes, make sure to bring any necessary documentation and only bring the amount of cannabis that is necessary for your trip.
- Keep cannabis in your carry-on luggage: When traveling with cannabis, it is best to keep it in your carry-on luggage. This is because checked luggage is often subject to more scrutiny, and there is a greater chance of your cannabis being confiscated or stolen. Keeping cannabis in your carry-on luggage also allows you to keep a closer eye on it.
- Don’t use cannabis in public: While some destinations may have legalized cannabis use, it is important to remember that public consumption of cannabis is still prohibited in many places. Consuming cannabis in public can not only result in legal consequences, but it can also create a negative image of cannabis users. Always use cannabis in private, and be respectful of local laws and customs.
- Be respectful of others: When traveling with cannabis, it is important to be respectful of others. Not everyone may be comfortable with the use of cannabis, and it is important to be considerate of others’ feelings and beliefs. Keep your cannabis use private, and avoid using cannabis in places where it may disturb or offend others.
- Be prepared for legal consequences: Even if you research the laws and regulations of your destination and follow all best practices, there is still a chance that you may face legal consequences for traveling with cannabis. Be prepared for the possibility of legal consequences, and understand the risks associated with traveling with cannabis.
In that case, it’s important to seek DUI coverage. Reepher is a legal defense program created with cannabis users in mind. Reepher will contribute up to $15,000 towards a member’s legal defense costs if they are accused of a cannabis misdemeanor (such as DUI, possession, public intoxication, or paraphernalia).
This includes paying for court costs, trial-related expenses, or releasing your car from impound. A per-diem for the time spent in court is also included. Reepher offers this coverage in states with a wide range of cannabis-related laws, including states like South Carolina or Georgia that only permit small amounts of cannabis use. Reepher is a division of Behavior Labs, Inc., a pioneer in the behavior-based insurance industry.
Traveling with cannabis requires careful planning and consideration. By researching local laws and regulations, using discreet packaging, bringing only what you need, keeping cannabis in your carry-on luggage, not using cannabis in public, being respectful of others, and being prepared for legal consequences, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable travel experience.