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Cannabis Laws: What You Should Know When Travelling with Marijuana


Do you use medical marijuana as a treatment regime for chronic pain, or even for another ailment? If so, are you considering travelling to another state or even country? What do travel and cannabis have to do with each other?

This question is valid and deserves a considered answer. The brief answer to this question is that some countries and states do not allow visitors to have any marijuana-based products on them while visiting the region. Consequently, it is essential to have a keen understanding of the local cannabis usage laws before you travel to a particular areasuch as the USA state of Colorado.

By way of expanding on this topic, let’s consider the following points:

Traveling in 2020: Setting the scene

2020 has been an interesting and incredibly stressful year. The year was heralded in with the discovery of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Wuhan, China. In summary, during 2020 this coronavirus has rampaged its way throughout the world, leaving death and devastation in its wake. To date, the John Hopkins University COVID-19 mapreports that there have been just under 35.5 million infections and 1 044 085 deaths worldwide.

The damage to the global economy is equally severe. The reported in July 2020 that a new study shows that the “coronavirus pandemic and measures to slow its spread cost the global economy $3.8 trillion (£3 trillion) and put 147 million people out of work.”

The economic sector that has been the hardest hit is the travel and tourism industry. The primary reason for this is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is exceptionally contagious and spreads rapidly via person-to-person transmission using the droplet infection mechanism. Although, it must be noted that the CDC admitted on 5 October 2020 that the virus is also spread via airborne transmission.

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One of the only ways to prevent the spread of the virus is to social distance from other people. Hence global governments locked down their country and state borders, ordering residents to shelter-in-place, as a desperate measure to prevent the virus from overwhelming public health facilities.

Traveling when on medical marijuana: What you should know

Fast forward to the last quarter of 2020, and the stress and chaos caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic have yet to abate. The good news is that the world’s citizens are slowing adjusting to the fact that the virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and lifestyles must be adjusted to thrive despite the virus.

Countries and states are opening their borders and allowing visitors from other areas with low SARS-CoV-2 infection rates. As soon as a region’s coronavirus infection rates start increasing, host countries either close their borders again or they implement a 14-day quarantine for all visitors and residents returning from the country where the COVID-19 infection rates have started climbing again.

But I digress…

For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that suffer from chronic pain due an auto-immune disorder, and your naturopath has recommended medical marijuana as a pain-relief regime.

Can you travel to a state like Colorado?

By way of answering this question, here are several pointers to provide a guide to the necessary information

1. Check the local or state laws for recreational use

As an aside, it is essential to note that both federal and state laws govern the USA. Therefore, when determining whether you can travel with recreational or medical marijuana, it is necessary to check both the federal and state laws.

Once you have determined whether you can travel with cannabis, the next step is to determine how much you can carry on you at any given moment. And the final step is to decide whether or not you can purchase medical marijuana while in Colorado.

The succinct answer to these inferred questions is that it is valid to possess and use medical marijuana in Colorado. The state laws were changed as early as 2014. However, there are several caveats to this statement:

  • The user must be over 21 years old to possess, buy, or use cannabis.
  • Cannabis cannot be given to, sold to, or used by individuals under 21 years of age.
  • Proof of identification must be shown to provide proof of age when purchasing cannabis.
  • A maximum of one ounce of cannabis can be bought or possessed at any given point in time.
  • Cannabis cannot be used on federal land because marijuana consumption is still illegal under federal law.

2. Medical use versus recreational use

The consumption of cannabis as a medical preparation was legalised in Colorado as far back as 2000. In summary, patients are allowed access to medical marijuana, providing they have written consent from their doctors. As highlighted above, medicinal cannabis cannot be prescribed by law, it can only be recommended by a physician.

Secondly, residents must have a Medical Marijuana ID card on them should they have any medical marijuana in their possession. The law allows these individuals to buy and possess up to 2 ounces at any given time.

The laws around the usage of medical marijuana are not clear when it comes to visitors who use cannabis preparations recommended by a medical specialist. Therefore, it is probably a good idea to consult with a legal expert before traveling to Colorado.

3. Hemp-based products

Hempis a variety of the Cannabis Savita plant. It is primarily grown for industrial purposes. It was one of the first plants that were spun into usable fibre over 50 000 years ago. It is also worth noting that hemp has minimal THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in relation to the CBD (cannabidiol) present in the plant.

Hemp seeds do not contain any CBD or THC. They are primarily used as a food source because they are a complete protein and high in iron. They are also pressed to extract the natural oils inside the seeds.

Finally, hemp is used to manufacture cosmetics and skincare ranges. These products include and exclude the CBD found in the hemp. It just depends on the product. For example, hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids and is an excellent additive to a foot care cream designed for dry feet. Products manufactured from hemp CBD are also great as a rehydrating preparation for dehydrated and stressed skin.

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