California has long had some of the most relaxed marijuana laws in the country. Medical marijuana was made legal back in 1996, when most states would never have considered such a thing. Today, medical marijuana is legal in vast parts of the country and even recreational use is legal in California.
This may make you think that it’s legal for you to bring your own marijuana into California if you’re coming for a visit. However, this can still pose some serious problems.
Crossing state lines can breach federal laws
A big part of the issue is that federal law still sees marijuana as an illegal substance, even within states that have made it legal. They don’t typically do anything about this within those states, but crossing a state line means that you’re out of state jurisdiction and into federal jurisdiction. This can make it a federal crime, and you could still be arrested, even if you’re entering a state like California – where marijuana is legal.
In fact, this even means that you could get arrested for crossing state lines between two states that both allow recreational marijuana use. You can have cannabis on either side of that line, but you still don’t want to cross the line itself. Additionally, you can run into some serious issues if you ever attempt to fly with marijuana, even when you’re departing from a state where it is legal and landing in California.
With these quickly changing laws, mistakes and confusion are common. Be sure you know exactly what rights you have if you face arrest over one of these mistakes.