Taking a Trip – Can I Bring My Marijuana?

Can I fly with medical marijuana?  What if I’m driving but going into a state where medical marijuana use is not legal?  What about other forms of public transportation, such as buses or trains?  Can I go to marijuana dispensaries in other counties or states where it is legalized and use the medical marijuana card or letter of recommendation I have from my resident state?

These are just a handful of travel related questions we commonly get asked by patients who need to travel.  When starting to research the answers, we found there was a lot more than simple answers.  After quite a bit of research, we decided to upload some new resource pages to our website with what we hope to be the best, most accurate answers.

The first resource page, Traveling with Medical Marijuana, covers general questions about traveling.  The second page, Can I Fly with Medical Marijuana?, focuses on traveling specifically by air. The third page, Can I Fly with Medical Marijuana in California? emphasizes procedures relevant to medical marijuana laws in California. We will continue to add pages specific to other states in the US.

The research found in regards to the laws and regulations for flying with marijuana yielded vastly differently stories, from one extreme to the other.

  • NEVER fly with medical marijuana because airports and air space are under federal jurisdiction so you will be arrested under federal law which considers any marijuana use to be illegal.
  • Sure, you can fly with medical marijuana; just make sure to keep it with your carry on versus checked luggage, stick it in a container to conceal it and don’t tell anyone, and most of the time you’ll get away with it even if the security agents see it.
  • Call marijuana friendly airports, such as Oakland and San Francisco, and tell them that you will be traveling with your medical marijuana, and you will be cleared to fly as long as it is within the limit needed for your personal use as indicated by your doctor’s recommendation.

While these stories are quite varied, three points of advice were universally shared:

  1. If you do decide to fly with your medicine, make sure you bring an official medical marijuana letter of recommendation from your physician or a current medical marijuana card.
  2. Even if you have the correct documents, if you are traveling to a state that has not legalized marijuana for medicinal use, these will not serve as any protection from criminal charges.
  3. Never try to travel internationally with medical marijuana.  Sometimes you may get away with it, especially entering into countries outside the United States, but trying to leave a foreign country or enter the United States with marijuana is never recommended.  Instead, try to find an alternative, trustworthy source at your destination.

To read detailed information about traveling with medical marijuana, either as a patient or caregiver, please check out the Doobons’ Resource Pages.  If you have further questions or would like to share your own story about traveling with marijuana, please comment below or contact Doobons directly.

2 thoughts on “Taking a Trip – Can I Bring My Marijuana?

  1. Great post. This question always comes up…travel or not to travel with my medicine. I don’t use the term/word ‘MEDICINE’ lightly…I need my medicine. The law makers probably don’t live in pain daily. I would like them to walk in my shoes for one day. If they did, they would know why it is ‘Medicine’ to me and the thousands of others suffering from pain daily.
    Thank you doobons…i really love your site and what your doing.

  2. Thank you! I am such a traveler and yet I need to medicate to do so…

    Last February, I was traveling to FL and Delta stranded me in Detroit for a night. I was in such bad shape they had to wheelchair me out of the airport to the shuttle bus that would take me to a hotel for the night. I was so frightened for how I would find medicine and luckily, Michigan had recently legalizing MMJ!

    I called a dispensary hoping they could serve me and as their laws are so new, my CA medical marijuana I.D. was all they needed! I was able to sleep, eat, and safely make it to my flight in the morning. :)

    I highly recommend checking out the laws at your upcoming pit stops, you never know how long you might be there!

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