Traveling with Cannabis
– Samantha Bray
Here we are, just two decades into the 21st century and already we’ve already seen the cannabis laws around the globe change right before our eyes. Gone are the days where Amsterdam is the only place to go to enjoy weed legally and happily.
Though travel restrictions are still in full effect right now because of the impending doom of this never-ending pandemic, it’s still just as important to be knowledgeable about rules and regulations when it comes to travelling with weed. Whether you be travelling domestically or internationally, the laws really depend on where you’re headed to and from, and how much/what you have.
In the US, the number of states that have legalized the personal, recreational, adult use of marijuana have been steadily increasing over the years. You might think that if you’re travelling from one of these states to another, you’re good to go, but that’s actually not the case. Because it’s not been legalized on the federal level yet, carrying marijuana across any state border is a federal crime.
That said, if you’re travelling within a state where it’s been legalized, you’re free to do so city to city, just be sure to not have more than the legal amount on your person because if you do get caught you could be fined or even arrested. These laws are constantly changing (for the better!), so before you plan your travel it’s important to check ahead and see what the current status is.
Maybe biased, maybe not, but if you’re looking for the best place in the US to enjoy weed it would definitely, without a doubt be California. Home to some of the best grown cannabis in the world, it’s also fully legalized in the state (also it’s like summer all year round)!
Something to note. Though the US hasn’t legalized marijuana federally yet, it has legalized the use of hemp CBD in all 50 states, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. That means if you want to travel by airplane with your CBD product, you may do so in your checked bag, or even your carry on. Same goes for bus, train, car, whatever.
Our friendly friends north of the border in Canada have had recreational weed legalized federally for just over two years now. As long as you’re flying domestically, it’s legal to have up to 30 grams on you. There are even designated smoking areas at airports for before or after your flight. The same goes for travelling by ground. Yay Canada!
Similar to California, the west coast of Canada (British Columbia) is known to having the most premium quality buds in all of their land. Since the weather conditions are much milder, the soil is optimal for growing. Residents of Canada are allowed to grow up to four plants per household, so really the cannabis is plentiful anywhere you go.
The first country before Canada to legalize marijuana federally was Uruguay. Amazing for them, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that it’s actually only legal there to citizens and permanent residents. So, if you’re a tourist in this country, purchasing and travelling with cannabis is going to be a nope for you.
Even though many people have dubbed Amsterdam to be the weed capital of the world, it’s only legal there for adults to purchase and use recreationally at certain cannabis cafes. Same goes for anywhere in the Netherlands, and also Spain. Medicinal marijuana and CBD oil products have different protocols throughout Europe so if you’re a visitor to any of their countries just be sure to check first.
Another cannabis lover’s paradise to touch on is Jamaica. Well known and idolized for its ganja loving crowd, what a lot of tourists don’t know is that it’s only decriminalized. It was fully illegal there until 2018 but now allows medicinal, as well as spiritual usage. Great news for Rastafarians, not so great news for uneducated tourists getting busted on the beach.
That said, if you do possess a prescription for medicinal marijuana and are travelling anywhere, do your research before you go. There are a handful of countries in the world where just the recreational use is illegal. Many countries stand by the medicinal use of cannabis, therefore making it legal for someone who would need it for an illness. Same goes for CBD products that contain little to no THC.
There are also plenty of countries and places in the world that have decriminalized the use of weed so even though it may not be legal, you also won’t go to jail for it. Check before you head anywhere because you could get a fine or ticketed in some places and end up jailed in others. Either way, if it’s only been decriminalized, probably not wise to travel with it, especially when crossing any sort of border.
Research before you go, as these laws are always changing. If you land yourself in a place where it’s been legalized, a good way to find a dispensary or somewhere to purchase would be to check Weedmaps. The days of asking your cab driver and then ending up with the worst pot on the planet are over, though it doesn’t hurt to spark up a conversation about it as you might find out some other useful information.
All in all, it just depends where you are and how much you have. Malaysia has the strictest rules of them all which could leave you with the death penalty if caught with enough. It’s also highly illegal in Singapore, where you could end up in jail for up to four years. Worth it? I think not.
If you don’t require the use of marijuana by doctor’s order and just like to use it for fun or whatever else, Canada is the only country in the world where you can legally travel throughout with it, whether you be a resident or a visitor. So, when this is all over, next stop Canada?