In the past decade, cannabis and marijuana as a whole has undergone a complete metamorphosis in the eyes of the law. In our current political climate, only 10 states hold marijuana under illegal status; with 11 states completely legalizing recreational cannabis and the rest allowing medical or decriminalized interpretations of cannabis.
At GrassDoor, we always strive to promote safety with cannabis. Not only for health risks or things of that nature, but for any interpretations with the law. As we move forward as an industry and a country, marijuana laws will continue to change, and hopefully for the better.
Specifically looking at the past 5 years, a lot has changed for the better in cannabis law. But the laws surround more than just the consuming or purchasing of marijuana and marijuana products. They surround the transportation of cannabis as well. As a transportation delivery service, we wanted to share with you the most up-to-date cannabis laws for car travel so you can drive as safely and soundly as our very own drivers.
We get a lot of questions asked to our drivers about the legality of driving with marijuana. One of the first things we tell them is it’s easiest to think about the legality of transporting marijuana products in terms of how you would transport legal alcohol. A lot of how you should respond with legal cannabis products in the car is exactly how you would respond with legal alcohol in the car.
“So much of the regulation policy for cannabis is done through the filer of alcohol regulations,” said Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
So what exactly does this mean for people driving with cannabis in their car? There are two words that we can hang our hat on: open container. Marijuana products and flower come in all different shapes and sizes of containers and bags; but don’t worry. It is precisely why purchasable cannabis comes in childproof sealed containers and non-transparent bags. You wouldn’t drive around with an open container of alcohol in your cup-holder? So, the same goes for marijuana. Make sure everything is sealed and placed in packaging or bags that ensure its incognito status. All of our products are delivered in this fashion, so you can always count on us to give you the proper preparation to avoid any issues with law enforcement. The rest is up to you.
So that being said, it’s dramatically safer and a better look in the eyes of any law enforcement to place any cannabis products in the trunk. An officer is far more likely to be convinced you are not driving under the influence of marijuana if the product or products are completely out of reach. Not too mention a warrant is needed to search a trunk or glove box in the fist place. The mantra is this: out of reach, out of sight and you’ll be all right.
With nearly two-dozen states being medical-cannabis-only, and other states fully legalizing recreational marijuana; open container laws will vary between them. That is why in addition to these general tips, we went ahead and broke it down for these west coast states.
California Transportation Laws
According to the California Vehicle Code 23222 (b): California’s Open container law, makes it unlawful to drive with any cannabis that is not in a container or transported in an opened container. As we mentioned earlier, California Business and Professions Code 26120 requires retailers to explicitly label their cannabis products and place them in tamper-evident, child resistant packaging. California Highway Officers are trained to look for broken seals or evidence of tampering. Best way to avoid it? Put it in the trunk.
Colorado Transportation Laws
Colorado gets a bit more specific with the transportation of cannabis. Colorado law judges any drivers with five nanogram of active THC in their blood as driving under the influence. You can be prosecuted by law enforcement officers, who generally are more likely to base an arrest on observed impairment. Additionally, Colorado’s open container law does not allow for any cannabis products to be in the area of the passengers in the vehicle. It is also illegal to consume cannabis on any public roadway.
Nevada Transportation Laws
Nevada in its history has been a particular unfriendly state to cannabis, but the laws vary depending on where you are in the state. With Las Vegas being such a popular destination, Law Enforcement in these areas are particularly investigating marijuana trafficking from nearby states. It is still illegal to transport marijuana across state lines even if the next destination has legal cannabis laws.
Oregon Transportation Laws
According to Oregon Law ORS 475B.245, any person the age of 21 or older may transport up to one ounce of cannabis in a public place. That being said, there is still some unclear facets of this law. “The statute doesn’t specify how to transport the cannabis,” says Timothy Fox with the Oregon State Police. But remember, just because something can be left up to interpretation doesn’t make it safer. Always act accordingly to respect of the state’s laws. Cops are people too and can tell when or if you are doing something wrong or unlawful.
Washington Transportation Laws
While Oregon might be hazy on their cannabis laws, Washington State is specific about their cannabis laws. Cannabis is required to be stored in the trunk of the vehicle or in some other area of the vehicle not directly occupied by a driver or passenger. Furthermore, if the vehicle does not have a trunk, the cannabis products must be in a packaged container or receptacle that is unopened or has an unbroken seal. Also, a center compartment or glove compartment does not satisfy the State’s interpretation of a receptacle or trunk space.
It’s safe to say there are some legal considerations to driving cannabis safety and legally. That is precisely one of the benefits we at GrassDoor provide with our delivery service. It is perfect for anyone who wants to completely avoid transporting cannabis in general. With a few thumbs dabs or a click of a mouse, GrassDoor will have premium cannabis products delivered directly to your door. We hope you learned something through this article and encourage you to transport cannabis with a deep knowledge of cannabis transportation laws.
by Zane Foley