You may have to admit that things are beginning to look pretty good in the marijuana industry. Not just for the service providers but also for recreational users (in legal states) and for patients who use various forms of medical marijuana to alleviate their pain or other conditions. At a time like this, it is pretty easy to forget that the federal statutes prohibiting the possession of marijuana are still very much in place and more than effective. No, we are not trying to be the party poopers here. However, we are dedicated to furnishing you with all relevant medical marijuana information that you may need. 

Since the decriminalization of medical marijuana (in 37 states) and adult-use recreational marijuana (in 18 states), fewer marijuana-related arrests have been made across the U.S. But somewhere in-between, there is a curious case to note; patients and users forget that possession of marijuana beyond given limits and moving of marijuana across state borders are still illegal. 

possession of marijuana in the US; weed on map of USA

Baltimore Customs and Border Protection Nabs Yet Another Traveler

Despite the decline in overall marijuana arrests, arrests for marijuana possession are inching higher. And customs are having a bit of a field day reminding travelers, so much that the Baltimore Customs and Border Protection office could seize as much as 3,677 pounds of drugs on “A Typical Day” in 2020.

In Maryland this year, during the inspection of a traveler’s baggage in late June, officers seized several marijuana-based products, including hard candy, protein bar, gummies, leafy marijuana, THC-positive seeds, and some Psilocybin mushrooms – the magic mushrooms.

This traveler, who was heading to Jamaica from the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), carried products totaling 303 grams. While this encounter with the officers did not necessarily translate to an arrest or a charge, it sure came with discomfort. For other patients or users who find themselves in such a situation, it could mean missing a crucial meeting or a best friend’s wedding. None of which we wish for!

…and reminds all that there are sanctions

A few weeks back, CBP officers revoked a woman’s Global Entry trusted traveler membership. Why? On arrival from the Dominican Republic, officers at the BWI found marijuana in her baggage. It could have been anybody.

While speaking, Keith Fleming, the Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office, emphasized that “Travelers need to know that Customs and Border Protection Ports of Entry are federal inspection stations, and federal law still prohibits the possession of both medical and recreational use marijuana.”

He also said that “Travelers may evade arrest for marijuana possession, but they do face hefty civil penalties and may potentially miss their flight, so CBP encourages travelers to closely examine their baggage before arriving at the airport.”

If you're curious about the specific laws surrounding MMJ in Maryland, please check out our FAQ page, here.

No, it is not.

While it’s true that some states have legalized the use of marijuana, we can’t forget that the distribution and possession of marijuana are illegal under federal law. The Controlled Substance Act recognizes marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, keeping it prohibited on a federal level. (No, seriously, federal law categorizes cannabis in the same class as heroin.) To that end, federal law criminalizes the use, trading, growing, and possession of marijuana. 

However, try not to panic too much. Federal law enforcement authorities mostly try not to get too involved with what happens in legal states — as long as users abide by the laws of the state they live in. Oh, and as long as you don’t attempt to trade or carry marijuana across state borders. 

What Is The U.S Federal Law Exception for The Possession of Marijuana? 

There are no exceptions – all forms of marijuana and marijuana use (including for medical purposes) are illegal under federal law. However, federal officials mostly leave the prosecution of marijuana offenses within legal states to the state police. Hence, users can rest assured if they are not violating state laws. Once across state lines or on federal property within a legal state, possession of marijuana, even an ounce, could put you in contempt of federal laws. 

What Is the Best Line of Action for Possession of Marijuana?

If you are traveling across states, keep your medical marijuana products at home. Possession without intent to distribute is considered a misdemeanor offense and could land a first-time offender a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison. 

You can always get an MMJ card in the next state if legal. That will help you gain access to your favorite medical marijuana products without violating federal laws. At Elevate Holistics, we can help you get a state-authorized MMJ card in the shortest time possible, at the most competitive price ever!

As always, do feel free to contact us for professional guidance or information on medical marijuana. We are here for you.