Is medicinal marijuana legal in all states? 39 Answers as of June 11, 2013

My uncle is a cancer patient and takes medicinal marijuana to help manage his pain. We want to go visit my grandmother and will be driving there. My uncle says it is fine to take his medicinal marijuana with him, but I am worried that it may not be legal in all states and that we could get in trouble for possession if we are caught. Is it okay for us to travel across state borders with his medical marijuana?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
No, it is not legal in all states and each state has their own different rules and laws and regulations regarding marijuana. Consult with an attorney from the jurisdiction before you decide to transport anything.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/31/2011
Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP
Clifford Clendenin & O'Hale, LLP | Locke T. Clifford
No, it is not legal in North Carolina to possess any marijuana, medical, recreational or otherwise. There are several states that still view marijuana the way North Carolina does, so it would be illegal for him to possess it in those states.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 6/13/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
Medical Marijuana IS NOT legal in all states and is a fed ticket to jail.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2011
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
You can travel only in states that allow medical marijuana. Call for more information.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 4/1/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
A person traveling across State lines must be aware that what may be legal in one State may not be legal when they cross into another State. You must be careful to check the laws of the States in which you pass to determine the legality of medical marijuana. Your uncle can be arrested and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana if the State law does not have an exception for medical use.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 3/30/2011
    L. Smith Legal Help
    L. Smith Legal Help | Laura J Smith
    There is no clear answer to your question because the law is currently unsettled in this area. I would advice you to proceed at your own risk. Medical Marijuana is not legal in all states. Some states recognize medicinal marijuana and some states criminalize all marijuana possession. In addition, the federal government criminalizes all possession of marijuana (even when you have medical marijuana in a state where it is legal). However, there is a directive by the federal government to the federal agencies (for example the DEA) to not enforce marijuana laws upon individuals authorized by the state they are located in to have the medical marijuana. Basically, medical marijuana is a new concept that is not legal in all jurisdictions so anyone should be cautioned about proceeding out of their own jurisdiction with their medical marijuana.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    No, medical marijuana is not legal in all states. Other states do not have to recognize your home state's medical marijuana laws. For example, if you are a medical marijuana patient in California, and you drive to Oregon with marijuana, you can be charged with a crime, even though Oregon has their own medical marijuana laws. Being a medical marijuana patient can help with your defense, but you can still be charged with a crime, or violation, for holding marijuana outside your home state. Although medical marijuana is legal under some states' laws, it is illegal under federal law.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Sharifi & Baron
    Sharifi & Baron | S. Yossof Sharifi
    No, medicinal marijuana is only legal in a few select states, most notably California and Colorado.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    No it is not. Take a look at the NORML web site. State law differs from state to state. Additionally, possession and or distribution of marijuana is still a federal offense and state law is not a defense to a federal charge. Federal law trumps state law so your marijuana card is no help if the feds bust you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    Only 3 states currently have reciprocal medical marijuana agreements (meaning that they recognize out of state medical marijuana licenses): Montana, Michigan, and Rhode Island.

    No other states currently recognize out-of-state medical marijuana licenses (not even the other 11 medical marijuana states). Additionally, it is never legal to transport medical marijuana via plane due to federal regulations.

    Therefore, unless you are traveling directly to Montana, Michigan, or Rhode Island from a current medical marijuana state and not by plane, you will be violating state and federal laws.

    It is however legal to obtain medical marijuana in a medical marijuana state upon arrival, if arrangements can be made to obtain a license in that state.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    Because it is the "possessing" that is illegal, if you possess it in a state that doesn't recognize medical marijuana, the possession is illegal. However, some states' prosecutor's offices may have a policy of not prosecuting folks who have a prescription from another state. To my knowledge, Missouri prosecutors do NOT have such a policy. Best of Luck!
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Lutgens
    Law Offices of John J. Lutgens | John Lutgens
    The ability to have medicinal marijuana - that is marijuana prescribed by a licensed physician - is dependent upon the laws of each state. You should consult with an attorney in each jurisdiction you will be traveling in. Quantity and prescription requirements may vary in each state.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Benari Law Firm
    Benari Law Firm | Arik T. Benari
    Please be advised that medicinal marijuana is NOT legal in all states and you will be prosecuted for possession if caught with it in a state where it is not permitted.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    The Law Office of John T. MacDonald Jr., PLLC
    The Law Office of John T. MacDonald Jr., PLLC | John MacDonald Jr.
    No. Medical marijuana is not legal in all states and federally it is still a controlled substance. I'm an attorney in Lansing, Michigan that can further answer any questions you may have.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    No, I would recommend that you contact an attorney in each jurisdiction you would visit in order to get an opinion based upon legal research. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    It is only legal in the states that allow it, any other states that you travel to that do not allow it may have local or federal authorities who will charge you with possession or even possession with intent to distribute. The airport authorities will turn it over to the local police to decide whether to allow you to keep it but they will inform the federal authorities of the incident. President Obama has decided to instruct the federal authorities to leave people alone who have a prescription in the states that allow it, but only if it is for personal use and they have their card with them and have proof that it was obtained from a licensed legal provider. It is unfortunate since people who need their legal marijuana should be allowed to fly or drive anywhere in the United States with their medicine, but that is not the current policy of all authorities in all states. He absolutely cannot take it out of the country and may be charged with smuggling which is a serious felony.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of James S. Robinson
    Law Office of James S. Robinson | James S. Robinson
    It is not; and the Feds can get you in any state.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
    The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
    No it is not legal in all states. In the state of Florida, it is not legal. In the state of California it is legal. I do not know where you live or where your grandmother resides but I would check the laws in those states so you don't have any problems while traveling.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    I do not believe so. The federal govrnment has not legalized it and can prosecute you even if the state does not want to or cannot.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    NO, marijuana is not legal in all states. I understand that there are 14 jurisdictions where marijuana is legalized. However, this is a qualified legalization. The Federal Law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, and even in a state where marijuana is "legal" there can be a Federal Proseuction. Should you have a case in Michigan, you may retain my office for a legal matter. I would welcome an opportunity to speack with you concerning your legal issue in Michigan.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland | Dustan Neyland
    It is not legal in Texas even if you have a medical marijuana card from another state.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Not in AL. I am unaware of any exception. It is a misdemeanor to possess it for personal use. If it is over an ounce, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is for other than personal use and is a class C felony.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    You are correct; most states do not allow posession of marijuana for any purpose. You should check on the laws of each state you plan to travel through before you start your trip.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Berlin Law Firm, PLLC
    Berlin Law Firm, PLLC | Lee F. Berlin
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Crippen & Cline, LC
    Crippen & Cline, LC | Stephen Howard
    You should absolutely check with a criminal defense lawyer in the state(s) you will be visiting and/or traveling through. If you are found in possession of marijuana in a state where it is illegal, you will be subject to criminal prosecution. Marijuana is not legal in all states. Even if a person has a valid prescription from one state, other state's are not required to honor that prescription.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Not all states recognize medical marijuana (and neither does the federal government). This is one of those situations where one would hope that the "Full Faith and Credit Clause" of the US Constitution would kick in and keep cancer patients from getting busted with pot while traveling from state A to B. The problem is I don't think it works that way and your uncle could end up in jail if stopped and searched etc. You may want to find out which states you might potentially be traveling through recognize medical marijuana and plan your route accordingly. It may take longer but it beats jail!
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Marijuana is still illegal under federal law and each state may or may not have laws regarding medical marijuana. They may or may not recognize a California compassionate use card under their laws. Before risking it, check the laws of Tuesdays where you're traveling.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Even if a particular state does not allow medical mj, the reality is that your uncle is obviously very sympathetic and few prosecutors would waste their time on his case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Not that I know of at this time. Your treating physician should be able to tell you. I would go online and look it up before I took it across state lines. This is what I found online. 15 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC Laws, Fees, and Possession Limits I. Summary Chart II. Details by State III. Sources I. Summary Chart: 15 states and DC that have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana State Year Passed How Passed (Yes Vote) Fee Possession Limit Accepts other states' registry ID cards? 1 . Alaska 1998 Ballot Measure 8 (58%) $25/$20 1 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature) unknown 1 2 . Arizona 2010 Proposition 203 (50.13%) unknown 2 2.5 oz usable; 0-12 plants 3 Yes 4 3. California 1996 Proposition 215 (56%) $66/$33 8 oz usable; 18 plants (6 mature, 12 immature) 5 No 4. Colorado 2000 Ballot Amendment 20 (54%) $90 2 oz usable; 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature) No 5. DC 2010 Amendment Act B18-622 (13-0 vote) * 2 oz dried; limits on other forms to be determined unknown 6. Hawaii 2000 Senate Bill 862 (32-18 House; 13-12 Senate) $25 3 oz usable; 7 plants (3 mature, 4 immature) No 7. Maine 1999 Ballot Question 2 (61%) $100/$75 2.5 oz usable; 6 plants Yes 6 8. Michigan 2008 Proposal 1 (63%) $100/$25 2.5 oz usable; 12 plants Yes 9. Montana 2004 Initiative 148 (62%) $25/$10 1 oz usable; 6 plants Yes 10. Nevada 2000 Ballot Question 9 (65%) $150+ 1 oz usable; 7 plants (3 mature, 4 immature) No 11. New Jersey 2010 Senate Bill 119 (48-14 House; 25-13 Senate) $200/$20 2 oz usable unknown 12 . New Mexico 2007 Senate Bill 523 (36-31 House; 32-3 Senate) $0 6 oz usable; 16 plants (4 mature, 12 immature) No 13. Oregon 1998 Ballot Measure 67 (55%) $100/$20 24 oz usable; 24 plants (6 mature, 18 immature) No 14. Rhode Island 2006 Senate Bill 0710 (52-10 House; 33-1 Senate) $75/$10 2.5 oz usable; 12 plants Yes 15. Vermont 2004 Senate Bill 76 (22-7) HB 645 (82-59) $50 2 oz usable; 9 plants (2 mature, 7 immature) No 16. Washington 1998 Initiative 692 (59%) ** 24 oz usable; 15 plants No Notes: Residency Requirement - 12 of the 15 states require proof of residency to be considered a qualifying patient for medical marijuana use. Only Oregon and Montana have announced that they will accept out-of-state applications. It is unclear if non-residents will be able to apply to be qualifying registered patients in Arizona until the rules are determined by ADHS. Home Cultivation - Karen O'Keefe, JD , Director of State Policies for Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), told ProCon.org in a Nov. 2, 2010 email that "Patients and their caregivers can cultivate in 13 of the 15 states. Home cultivation is not allowed in New Jersey or the District of Columbia and a special license is required in New Mexico. In Arizona, patients can only cultivate if they live 25 miles or more from a dispensary." Patient Registration - Karen O'Keefe stated the following in a Jan. 11, 2010 email to ProCon.org:  ; "Affirmative defenses, which protect from conviction but not arrest, are or may be available in several states even if the patient doesn't have an ID card: Rhode Island, Montana, Michigan, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, and Oregon. Hawaii also has a separate 'choice of evils' defense. In California, ID cards are voluntary, but they offer the strongest legal protection The states with no protection unless you're registered are: Alaska (except for that even non-medical use is protected in one's home due to the state constitutional right to privacy); Vermont, New Mexico, and New Jersey ." Maryland - Maryland passed a law that, although favorable to medical marijuana, does not legalize its use. Senate Bill 502 (72 KB), t he "Darrell Putman Bill" (Resolution #0756-2003) was approved in the state senate by a vote of 29-17, signed into law by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. on May 22, 2003, and took effect on Oct. 1, 2003. The law allows defendants being prosecuted for the use or possession of marijuana to introduce evidence of medical necessity and physician approval, to be considered by the court as a mitigating factor. If the court finds that the case involves medical necessity, the maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $100. The law does not protect users of medical marijuana from arrest nor does it establish a registry program.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    No, marijuana is only legal in certain states.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    If what you are asking about is carrying NO form of certificate for use, then you are simply violating the law, no matter where you are. If what you are asking about is the common medical marijuana certificate that users go and buy for $40 or $50 from dispensaries and co-ops advertizing in the back of local magazines, then no. California is about the only Politically Correct state blatantly violating federal drug laws by allowing issuance of the delusional medical marijuana certificate. It certainly doesnt apply in any other state, and doesnt even apply in CA against federal drug charges.

    Now, despite that, there are legitimate federally approved and state certified, doctor authorized medical use certificates. With one of those, he is reasonably safe from arrest, but not guaranteed outside the state of issuance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    It is not legal in all states. Be very careful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Avioli Law, P.C.
    Avioli Law, P.C. | Michael Avioli
    No. Every state has different criminal laws.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/28/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney