Traveling With Maryland Medical MarijuanaGreen Relief Health Admin
Maryland is among 33 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana in some form. In fact, of those 33 states there are 11 states and Washington, DC that have legalized cannabis for recreational use as well. Because so many states have some form of legalization or another of medical marijuana, many patients often wonder about traveling with Maryland medical marijuana. The travel questions are both about whether you can travel in state and whether you can travel out of the state of Maryland with your medical marijuana. It’s important to understand what is allowed and what violates the law before taking your medical cannabis on a trip with you. You can speak with one of our Maryland medical cannabis doctors if you need specific advice on your situation and how to best utilize your product while traveling.
While medical marijuana is legal in Maryland, patients should take extra precautions to minimize the risks of being charged with using their medical cannabis while driving, in a public place, or violating other laws.
Interstate Travel With Maryland Medical Marijuana
Unfortunately, marijuana is still federally illegal, and this is extremely important to remember when traveling from Maryland to another state. While the federal authorities have made it public that they will be turning a blind eye to state initiatives and allowing the states to determine how to handle these matters themselves (for now), they have not agreed to stop enforcing the laws where they have jurisdiction. This specifically means that the federal government still can and has said it will exert its jurisdiction on things that cross state lines.
This means that regardless of the law in Maryland or the state you are entering the act of crossing a state line with medical marijuana is still illegal. This means that you run the risk of being charged federally when going from one state to another with medical cannabis. In addition, federal laws aren’t the only rules at play here. Many people think of a medical card as if it is like a driver’s license. It is not. What we mean by this is that unlike a driver’s license that is issued by the state of Maryland it does not have to be honored by other states.
State Laws With Medical Marijuana
The point of different state laws is extremely important to remember. Simply because Maryland allows you to have a certain amount of medical marijuana or to consume it in a certain area does not mean that other states will necessarily have this same law.
In states like California, Colorado, and others that have legal recreational cannabis you can purchase in those states without a medical card. Some non-recreational states offer reciprocity to out-of-state medical card holders, but not all these states allow non-residents to visit dispensaries or purchase product. You won’t have your product confiscated if you have a card and properly marked medical cannabis from your home state, but you may not be allowed to buy it from a local shop unless you go to one of their state-licensed physicians and obtain a recommendation. States offering reciprocity in some form include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and Washington, D.C. States.
Now here is an important point. Maryland has no official reciprocity agreements with any other state. This works in two ways. This means that you will likely not be able to use your Maryland medical card to purchase medical marijuana in any other state. This also means that residents of other states will not be able to use their medical card to purchase cannabis in Maryland. This also means that if you are stopped by law enforcement in another state, they do not have to recognize your Maryland medical card even if medical marijuana is legal in that state.
What Happens If You Violate Federal Law?
There are potential consequences if you violate either state or federal laws with respect to medical marijuana. Since each state law is different, we will focus here on what federal law says and what the consequences potentially are.
Section 812 of Title 21 of the U.S. Code, the Schedule of Controlled Substances makes no distinction between a legal state, a medical state, or an illegal state. Violating this section is a federal crime and could earn you a drug trafficking charge, even for the lowest tier of cannabis.
For the possession of:
1 kilogram or less of hash oil
10 kilograms or less of hashish
1 to 49 cannabis plants
Less than 50 kilograms of cannabis flower
The penalties are:
1st offense: up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 to $1 million
2nd offense: up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $500,000 to $2 million
Traveling With Medical Marijuana In Maryland
Maryland medical marijuana laws allow a medical cannabis patient can travel anywhere throughout the state with their medical marijuana. This means that you can go nearly everywhere in the state with your medical marijuana with a few important and notable exceptions.
The primary exception is on to any federal government property when in possession of cannabis. Possession of cannabis is still a violation of federal law and this means you cannot possess it in federal building or on federal property. One important area to remember for many Marylanders is the Baltimore-Washington Parkway or Maryland 295. Parts of 295 are considered federal parkland and maintained by the National Park Service. This means possessing medical cannabis on this portion of the highway would be in violation of federal law and would still be illegal.
As you can see there are many different laws and rules that can affect traveling with Maryland medical marijuana. It is not advisable to travel from state to state with medical cannabis because of the potential federal implications of this travel. However, if you are traveling within the state of Maryland you will be good to go. Taking some basic precautions will help your trip be as stress- and complication-free as possible. Responsible travel with cannabis reflects positively not just on the traveler, but on medical cannabis users as a whole. If you should have any questions about traveling with your medical cannabis Green Relief Health is always here to help.