Marijuana has now been legalized or decriminalized in a number of states, and more and more people are becoming involved in the business of growing, selling, manufacturing and distributing this valuable plant. There are still a number of rules and regulations about its use, sale and treatment that are very important to be aware of if you are involved in the marijuana business to any extent. If you deal with the movement of marijuana across any state or national borders, you will be expected to be familiar with the laws regarding this action. While state marijuana laws differ according to the state and may be more or less lenient regarding transport, federal laws concerning marijuana movement remain staunch on the fact that movement of this material is drug trafficking and considered illegal. Here are the details of the law and what you should know.
State Laws Regarding Marijuana Transport
Because marijuana has recently been made legal at some level in only a few states, you will still need to consult with an individual state’s regulations when you are planning to transport the plant, in any form, within a state or across state lines. Each state treats and views the substance differently. For example, medical marijuana use has been decriminalized in the state of California, which means that under certain guidelines you can legally use small amounts of the plant, especially for medical purposes with an appropriate prescription. However, in Colorado, marijuana has been largely legalized, which means you can use it as you see fit and you do not need to have a prescription, as long as you comply with the regulations that are in place such as being over the age of 21.
Generally, the laws regarding state transportation of marijuana are as follows:
- If marijuana is legal for use in a certain state, then that state will likely have specific policies and procedures that govern its transportation. It might be only transportable in very small amounts, with a prescription or by certain licensed authorities. It might be the case that you must have a marijuana-related business certificate in order to legally transport it.
- If marijuana is not legal for use under any circumstances in a certain state, then it follows that the transport of it will also be illegal.In order to make sure you are compliant with state governance, you must check with your local authorities to determine which laws apply to you.
Federal Laws Regarding Marijuana Transport
Federal laws will apply to you if you are attempting to move any amount of marijuana over state lines or across national borders. While state laws differ from place to place, marijuana remains an illegal substance to possess, distribute or transport under the overall federal law. Therefore, those who are considering transportation of marijuana where the federal law may be involved face the potential for prosecution and law enforcement. Of course, the amount of marijuana you are carrying, its form and intended use, the financial amounts involved and your criminal history will be determining factors in whether you are subject to federal prosecution or not.
Moving marijuana across state borders or between countries is considered drug trafficking and can go hand in hand with heavy fines or jail time. This applies to an individual or group entity, regardless of whether you are running a licensed or certified marijuana-related business or not. It also applies to those who reside in states where marijuana is legal, illegal or decriminalized. It is advisable to avoid the movement of marijuana in cases that might involve the federal government until the federal law changes to include state-to-state or country-to-country transport. While many policies regarding marijuana usage and sale have shifted in recent years, be prepared to wait until federal laws change if you are desiring to transport marijuana for yourself or your business.
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