Virginia has legalized marijuana. It can be purchased for recreational use or medical use at licensed dispensaries. In many ways, buying marijuana is now like buying a bottle of wine.
Because you can make these legal purchases in Virginia, you may consider buying the products and taking them with you out of the state. Say that you’re taking a trip to Florida for spring break, or maybe you’re going skiing in Colorado. Can you buy marijuana products and bring them with you?
2 main considerations
To start with, no, you can’t bring products to other states. If you’re going to a state like Florida, marijuana is still illegal. You could be arrested just for possessing it. Even if you explain to the police officers in Florida that you made a completely legal purchase in Virginia, you’re not being governed by Virginia’s laws. You have to contend with the more outdated laws in Florida, which could lead to an arrest.
The second consideration is that it is federally illegal to cross state lines with marijuana in your possession. The federal government still prohibits ownership. Interestingly, this means you can’t even enter another legal state. For instance, Maryland has decriminalized marijuana the same way that Virginia did. But driving into Maryland with these products in your possession is a violation of federal law. So is flying to Colorado to go skiing, despite Colorado being one of the first legal marijuana states in the nation.
Navigating changing laws
Changing marijuana laws can make things very complicated. Those who are facing charges must be aware of their legal defense options.