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Can you take marijuana into another state?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | Drug Crimes

You’re able to buy recreational marijuana in California, just as you are in many other states. This has led to a perception change among the general public in these states, and a large number of people now view marijuana on par with beer or wine.

But not all states have recognized this change. If you’re taking a trip to a different state, and you’ve already purchased recreational marijuana in California, are you allowed to bring it with you?

It’s a federal crime

You may be surprised to find out that this is actually illegal. Even if the other state also allows recreational marijuana, you still can’t cross state lines. This is a federal offense and you could face very strict charges.

For instance, it may make sense that you can’t drive from California to Texas with marijuana. Not only would you be crossing three state lines, but you’d be arriving in a state that has very strict marijuana laws and does not allow for recreational use yet.

But the same is true if you’re driving from California to Oregon or Washington or Nevada. All of these nearby states have legalized recreational marijuana use, so you might not be arrested once you’re there. You also wouldn’t be arrested in California. But crossing state lines with the substance, despite it being legal on both sides of the line, still technically makes it a federal offense.

As perceptions of marijuana change, it’s easy to see how people could make an innocent mistake and cross a line on a map that lands them in legal trouble. If you find yourself in this position, you need to understand your rights and defense options. An experienced California criminal defense attorney can help you with this.