Leave Your (Legal) Pot at Home When Traveling

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Some unwitting motorists are in trouble with the law after traveling over state lines and getting caught with their legally purchased marijuana.

Marijuana may be legal in your home state. But that won’t protect you if you get caught with your legally acquired pot in a state where the drug is still illegal. And the result for you could be jail time.

According to Bloomberg, such incidents are occurring across the U.S.

In Washington and Colorado, it’s legal to possess pot for recreational use. In 23 other states, you can legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes. But the drug is still illegal in the remaining 25 states.

Bloomberg said issues often arise when travelers from pot-friendly states cross state lines:

While challenges may land the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court, what exists now is a legal checkerboard where unwitting motorists can change from law-abiding citizens to criminals as fast as they pass a state welcome sign. The difference is especially clear in states like Idaho. Surrounded on three sides by pot-friendly Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Montana, Idaho State Police seized three times as much marijuana this year as in all of 2011.

“The manner in which a person acquires the drug is not relevant,” Teresa Baker, an Idaho police spokeswoman, said. “This is important to know for those who may purchase it legally elsewhere, believing that it will be overlooked.”

Idaho law enforcement seized 131.2 pounds of pot in 2011, 645 pounds in 2012 and 721.5 pounds in 2013. By June of this year, pot seizures were up 6 percent in Idaho, with nearly 400 pounds of pot confiscated by law enforcement, Bloomberg said.

It seems obvious in this situation that it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have legally acquired marijuana, keep it in the state where you purchased it. Don’t pack up your pot and cross state lines into a region where the drug is still illegal. There’s no sense in chancing getting caught, unless you want to risk going to jail.

In other marijuana news, it appears that despite what many expected, teen pot smoking and traffic accidents have actually declined in Colorado since the sale and consumption of marijuana was legalized.

“A year and a half after legalization was passed in two states, and now nearly nine months after Colorado initiated legal sales of cannabis to the general public, it appears that legalization has indeed made the streets safer,” the Wall St. Cheat Sheet said.

Is marijuana legal in your state? Should it be? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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