Most cannabis users only transport marijuana between the dispensary and their home. In some places where marijuana delivery is legal, even that situation is not an issue.
However, circumstances sometimes require people to transport marijuana in the car for longer distances. Maybe you are going to spend the weekend with friends in a nearby city. Or maybe you are going on vacation into the mountains.
Whatever the case, you’ll want to consider the following about having marijuana in the car. This is an area where you want to be smart because making a mistake can prove costly.
Marijuana In The Car
This isn’t about using marijuana in the car. That’s a 100% no-no whether you are driving the car or not. Don’t do it.
This also isn’t about transporting marijuana in the car over national borders. Trying to drive with marijuana in the car between Michigan and Toronto, for example, is going to get you into trouble. At the very least the border patrol will throw away your weed. And it could get much worse, including a heavy fine and jail time.
Think of Alcohol
In most states, the approach to law enforcement when it comes to marijuana in the car is a lot like alcohol. You don’t want to drive with an open container in the cabin of the car. The same goes for cannabis.
“I just tell people, put it in your trunk, like a bottle of wine,” Ngaio Bealum, an actor/comedian and cannabis advocate, told Leafly.
Treat it like luggage. Put it in the trunk and forget about it until you reach your destination. Think of it as adhering to the open container laws that are in states and cities around the country for alcoholic beverages.
Rules By State
Leafly also looked at the rules for having marijuana in the car by state. They found that most states follow the “alcohol in the car” rules, with a few quirks in some states.
Alaska. Open container laws are especially stringent in Anchorage, where local officials decided to add cannabis in 2016.
California. The Golden State has a law that prohibits driving with cannabis in an open container in the car. Those engaged in the cannabis business must have all marijuana in sealed containers that are marked with the proper code.
Colorado. It’s illegal to have cannabis in the passenger area of the vehicle if it’s not in a closed container or if there are signs it has been opened.
Massachusetts. Getting caught with an open container of cannabis comes with a civil fine of $500.
Michigan. In Michigan, they spell it out: transporting recreational cannabis is legal only if it’s in a sealed and labeled container (like you just bought it at the dispensary) and is in the trunk of the vehicle.
So, in short, keep it sealed and put it in the trunk.
Can I Drive Across State Lines?
Remember the 1977 movie “Smokey and the Bandit” where they have illegally transported Coors beer across state lines? That’s how it is with cannabis right now.
Even if you are driving from one legal state into another, it’s a federal crime to transport cannabis across state lines. That’s because while states have made both recreational and medical marijuana legal across the country, the federal government still lists marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug.
The way states avoid that issue is to have marijuana grown, processed, transported and sold within the state borders. Anyone driving with marijuana in the car across state lines is breaking that rule. You don’t want that to be you.
So, in summary:
- In most cases, you can transport cannabis within your home state if you have it sealed and in your trunk
- Don’t try to drive across state lines
- Don’t try to drive into another country
Play it smart and safe when transporting marijuana in the car. Keep these tips in mind (and your cannabis in the trunk) and you should be fine.