Traveling With Medical Marijuana: What Missouri Marijuana Card Holders Need to Know
Missouri Marijuana Cardholders Are Safe to Travel Throughout MO With Their Medical Marijuana, But What About When They Leave the State?
Now that it looks like we’ve made it to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, people all over Missouri are looking to spend their summer traveling. Anyone with a Missouri marijuana card may be especially looking forward to galavanting the countryside this year, because this is the first time they have access to the natural relief they need in order to feel their best while out and about.
Even though qualifying for a Missouri marijuana card is easy, traveling with your medicine does come with a few complications. However, with a little preparation and careful planning, you may still be able to have the relief you’ve come to count on while keeping your journey legal and safe.
In this post, we are going to examine why traveling with medical marijuana is more challenging than it seems like it should be, and what you can do to maintain your treatment regimen while traveling in 2021.
Why is Traveling With Medical Marijuana So Complicated?
You may be able to throw your Oxyconton into your carry-on without a second thought, but traveling with cannabis is a bit tricky. The main reason for this is because of the fact that marijuana is still considered a Schedule I substance according to the Federal Government.
What this means for your trip:
Medical marijuana is illegal on all Federal property
It is also illegal anywhere that the Federal Government has jurisdiction
It is Federally illegal to transport marijuana across state lines, even when marijuana is legal in both states
States have the authority to devise their own laws and the level of enforcement related to marijuana
Despite the complicating factors, there are ways to keep your trip safe, legal, and enjoyable, even if you need medical marijuana on a daily basis in order to feel your best.
Can You Fly With Marijuana if You Have a Missouri Marijuana Card?
The short answer is no. You cannot take medical marijuana on a plane. This is because the Travel Security Administration (TSA) is a Federal agency.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, we suggest that you do not try to sneak marijuana onto a plane, regardless of how well you get to know the person who will be patting you down on the other side of the metal detector.
The TSA is required to report law violations to local, state, or Federal authorities, but they have been known to simply confiscate your product and let you go on your way—particularly in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and adult-use purposes.
Additionally, an addendum to the agency’s marijuana policy indicates that they are more concerned with items that are a safety risk making it onto the plane, than they are with marijuana and other drugs in your carry-on or checked bags.
This quote was taken directly from their website:
TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.
Driving With Cannabis in Missouri When You Have a Marijuana Card
Having a Missouri marijuana card means you can possess medical marijuana that was purchased from a licensed dispensary. Residents from other states cannot purchase marijuana in Missouri dispensaries, but they can possess medical marijuana as long as they have their marijuana card and a state-issued ID from their state of residence.
Since you can legally possess a limited amount of medical marijuana so long as you have a medical card, you can have your products in your car. So if you’re doing a one-tank trip out to see a KC Chiefs game, or if you’re checking out the stone castle and spring at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, you’re safe and legal as long as you follow these in-state travel guidelines:
Make sure your license and registration are up to date
Have your Missouri marijuana card on you at all times
Keep your photo ID with you as well
Follow all traffic laws, use your turn signal when appropriate, and drive at the designated speed limit
Only purchase your medical marijuana products from a dispensary, or only carry plant material grown by you or a caregiver
Make sure your products are locked away in your trunk, so that there is no suspicion of driving while intoxicated
Don’t drive while intoxicated
Driving Between States When You Have a Marijuana Card
Transporting marijuana across state lines is a Federal crime, and it can lead to serious consequences if you get turned over to Federal authorities. However, this rarely happens, and it is generally reserved for people who are transporting large amounts of marijuana for distribution.
Your chances of getting caught with medical marijuana when driving from one state to another are usually based on your ability to avoid getting pulled over. The consequences, unfortunately, have just as much to do with an officer’s biases and interpretation of the law, as they do with the actual law.
Some states and law enforcement officers may be more relaxed than others, but there are some questions you should be able to answer before traveling to any given state (this guide can help you find the information you need):
Does the state you are traveling to offer reciprocation for your Missouri marijuana card?
What are the details?
Does the state allow you to purchase medical marijuana at its dispensaries?
Does the state you are traveling to have adult-use laws in effect?
Is marijuana decriminalized in the state you are traveling to?
If so, what are the limits and penalties for possession?
Is there a history of police brutality for certain races/classes of people in this state?
Visiting a Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocating State
There are a couple of different levels on which your marijuana card could be reciprocated by the state you are visiting. Most states offer only the most basic level of reciprocity, allowing visitors with a marijuana card to possess the products they purchased at their state dispensary.
People traveling through or to a state like this are in a bit of a quandary when it comes to whether they should bring their marijuana products with them or not, because they must transport them across state lines—which is technically a Federal crime. However, a reciprocity law like this implies that if you have a medical card, you will not be penalized for bringing your medicine with you.
Other states offer a full reciprocity program, allowing you to make purchases at dispensaries and everything. Just make sure you plan ahead, because some states require that you register with them in order to shop at their dispensaries, and this can take up to 30 days in some cases.
Does Missouri Have a Reciprocal Program for Medical Marijuana
Missouri’s reciprocity only extends as far as allowing people who have a marijuana card in another state to possess and use medical cannabis. So if Uncle Ned is visiting from Virginia, he needs to bring his own product. But he is safe to bring and use it.
Visiting a State Where Adult-Use Marijuana is Legal
Anyone under 21 is almost never going to be protected outside of their own state. However, in states where adult-use cannabis is legal, you don’t have as much to worry about—as long as you are 21 or older.
Bringing your products across state lines is still Federally illegal, but you probably are not going to run into problems unless you possess more than the legal limit. Additionally, you can get products at adult-use dispensaries without a medical card.
The only issue is that you may not be able to get the kinds of products you are used to getting at your local medical marijuana dispensary. Different states have different regulations, and adult-use marijuana is generally not as closely regulated for quality and purity. But many adult-use dispensaries do have products that are more geared towards medicinal use.
Visiting a State That Does Not Reciprocate or Have Legal Adult-Use Marijuana
As of May 2021, 36 states and 4 territories have medical marijuana programs for their residents. A total of 17 states, 2 territories and DC have also enacted adult-use legalization. But there are still states in which marijuana is completely illegal, and others in which only marijuana cards from that state are recognized (even for simple possession).
If you are going to visit a state in which medical marijuana is illegal and you still plan to take your products with you, then make sure you at least know the laws in that state. Some states have decriminalized marijuana, and possession of a certain limit only comes with a fine. However, you need to know your rights when traveling in order to make sure they are upheld.
Add a Layer of Protection to Your Summer Travel Plans With a Missouri Marijuana Card!
Unfortunately, a Missouri marijuana card is not going to make it legal for you to take your medical marijuana wherever you want to travel. There will still be some restrictions, planning, and safety precautions to follow. But you will be safe to travel throughout the Show-Me State for your next staycation, and you will also have varying levels of protection when you visit other states.
Give us a call at (877) 303-3117, or schedule an appointment with one of our marijuana doctors today, to make sure your summer travels are anxiety and pain-free!
Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.
At Missouri Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (877) 303-3117, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out Missouri Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Missouri.