Vanlife And MMJ: All You Need To Know

There are so many reasons people are choosing to travel or live in motorhomes these days. Whether you want to explore the country during college break or during your retirement, there are advantages to RVing that everyone can appreciate.

If you’re thinking about going on a vanlife medical marijuana adventure, you might be wondering what you need to know before setting out. Here’s a quick run-through of some info on vanlife and MMJ that can help you get started.

The rules of vanlife

First, it’s important to note that the rules surrounding the usage of cannabis and transportation don’t differ too much between a short trip and residing in a motorhome. So, technically, the same rules apply to MMJ and full-time RV living as they do for quick trips around your state.

With that point in mind, here are some suggestions around MMJ and vanlife that can be helpful to remember (including your rights as a traveler).

Do your research

The most critical aspect of your travels will be to know the state’s laws wherever you’re traveling. Even with a valid MMJ card, there are certain limitations to how much cannabis you can legally carry at any time. Because these differ by state, you’ll want to make sure you know the limits in every place you’re traveling to.

Pay attention to state boundaries

On the same point, you should always note when you’ve crossed the border into another state so that you’re aware of the specific laws in that state. Generally, it’s not recommended to cross state lines with marijuana in your RV because this does violate federal law. In fact, if you transport MMJ products outside of the state where they were purchased, you could be cited for possession (which is a misdemeanor and could earn you up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine).

In some extreme cases, transporting marijuana over state borders could even get you a drug trafficking charge (up to five years of prison time and/or a $250,000 fine!). If possible, stick to one state while you possess MMJ or wait until you’re in a new state before purchasing more product.

 

MMJRecs - vanlife

Image by Rota Alternativa on Unsplash: Using your MMJ products discreetly inside of your RV means you’re less likely to draw attention.

Only carry as much MMJ as you need for your trip

One way to be a little more careful is to only bring with you as much product as you’ll need for the duration of your trip. Carrying large quantities may make you seem suspicious to law enforcement if your vehicle is stopped and searched.

Never open or consume MMJ while the vehicle is in motion

It’s a good idea to think of MMJ products in the same way you would alcohol. You can receive a DUI if you’re found to be impaired while operating a vehicle, especially a large one like a campervan or RV.

Neither drivers nor passengers should be using cannabis products (even if they’re prescribed) unless you’re parked somewhere where it’s legal to imbibe. Never do so on the open road!

Store your MMJ products responsibly

Always keep your products stored as far away from the driver’s seat as possible – for example, in a back cabinet. If you’re pulled over, you don’t want to give law enforcement any reason to think you’ve been dosing while driving.

Some states even require marijuana to be stored in childproof containers with specific seals that make them more difficult to open. Check the regulations for the specific state you’ll be traveling in to make sure you’re handling and storing your products legally.

Be extremely careful about where you park your vehicle

If you’re going to be bringing your MMJ products on the road with you, it’s absolutely critical that you research where you’ll be parking your RV and what the location’s regulations are surrounding cannabis possession. Even if it’s for medical purposes, it is still illegal to possess or consume cannabis on any federal land – this includes national parks and National Park Service areas.

Even in states where recreational marijuana is legal (such as California or Colorado), you are still prohibited from having cannabis in these areas of federal land. Getting caught with MMJ in one of these places could result in you being charged with a misdemeanor, fined, or even banned from the parks.

On the same note, many RV parks and campgrounds don’t permit marijuana usage either; they are allowed to kick you out if they find you have these products. So, do thorough research ahead of time on any place you’ll be stopping, whether it’s to rest for a while or to stay overnight.

One other note: try to consume your MMJ discreetly, so you’re less likely to draw attention from authorities or other campers. (Edibles can be a great way to stay under the radar with your MMJ usage!)

 

MMJRecs - vanlife medical marijuana

Image by Caleb George on Unsplash: Make sure you’re parking your campervan in areas where cannabis use is permitted.

Carry your MMJ card and a doctor’s note with you to show to authorities

Don’t forget to bring your valid MMJ card with you on the road so that you can present it if you’re questioned by law enforcement or park staff. To err on the side of caution, you might also want to consider bringing a note from your doctor that explains your health condition and your need for MMJ products. This step might help in case you need to explain to authorities why you have cannabis products in your RV.

If you don’t already have this type of documentation, applying for an MMJ card can be a great idea if you’re a van dweller. If you don’t have a home residence, you can try applying for a card in the state you’re residing in currently, or one in which your driver’s license or identification has been issued.

It just takes a medical certification and letter from a licensed doctor (or you can go through MMJRecs) to show that you have a physical or emotional condition with symptoms that can be alleviated through the use of MMJ. The application process can typically be done online through each state’s particular MMJ governing board. Once you have your MMJ card in hand, you’ll have added benefits such as being allowed to possess more product, receiving possible discounts on sales tax, etc.

Make sure to do as much research as possible before you begin your trip so that you can be prepared to follow the laws wherever your journey takes you. As long as you’re a responsible vanlife MMJ user, you’ll be able to use your MMJ products without any problems!

Featured image by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Can I Take A Road Trip With Medical Marijuana?

Is there anything more fun than hitting the open road for an adventure? There are so many benefits to choosing road-tripping versus other forms of travel. You can pack light and have more freedom to go wherever the journey takes you – oh, and it’s also typically a cheaper option for travelers on a budget! But can you road trip with medical marijuana?

There are some regulations you need to be informed about before you embark on your trip. Read on for a guide to traveling with medical marijuana (MMJ).

How to travel with medical marijuana

You’ll want to feel as carefree as possible once your road trip begins, but there are some things you should keep in mind when planning your trip so that you don’t have to spend time worrying about them later.

Plan out your route

Some road-trippers like to make decisions on where they’re going spontaneously. This can be a little trickier when you’re driving with MMJ products in your car, because you need to be careful where your route is taking you.

Anytime you enter a new area (especially a new state), you’ll need to be aware of what the legal limits are for carrying MMJ products. A little research ahead of time can ensure that you’re following the law no matter where your travels take you.

Try to avoid crossing state lines

Because cannabis is still illegal on a federal level, you do have to be cautious when you road trip with medical marijuana in different states. In general, it’s not a great idea to cross state lines with MMJ products in your car, because you’re breaking federal law.

If you transport marijuana outside the state in which you purchased it, you could be cited for possession (a misdemeanor that could cost you a $1,000 fine and/or a year in jail!) if you get pulled over by law enforcement. In some cases, you could face even harsher penalties, such as a drug trafficking charge of up to five years of prison time and/or a $250,000 fine.

If crossing into another state is a definite part of your itinerary, try to wait and purchase your MMJ products once you’re in the new state to avoid crossing state lines with cannabis already in your vehicle.

Do not consume MMJ products if you’re going to be driving

In many ways, the law views intoxication from cannabis the very same way as it does alcohol. If you’re found to be under the influence of marijuana (even if it was prescribed), you could be charged with a DUI.

To avoid any issues, make sure that someone else is driving if you’re going to be using your MMJ products, or wait until the cannabis has left your system before getting behind the wheel.

 

MMJRecs - road trip with MMJ

Image by Alex Jumper on Unsplash: Try to avoid using MMJ products if you’re going to get behind the wheel.

Store the MMJ as far away from the driver’s seat as possible

If you’re wondering how to travel with cannabis in the car, the answer is to keep it completely separate from the driver. Your safest bet is to stash it in the trunk or in the backseat, so if you do get pulled over, law enforcement will not have reason to suspect you’ve been dosing while you’re driving.

In the same vein, try to keep your containers sealed (some states require MMJ product be stored in childproof containers with specific seals on them). Either way, remember to never consume marijuana while the vehicle is in motion – which means no open containers while you’re out on the road.

Only carry the legal limit of MMJ for the state you’re in

It’s a good idea to only possess as much cannabis as the legal limit allows in the area where you’re traveling. You might have more difficulty with law enforcement if you’re pulled over and they find a large quantity of marijuana in your car.

It might be inconvenient to have to purchase more frequently during your trip, but it can be safer to have smaller amounts in your possession at any one time.

Have your MMJ card with you at all times

Carrying your MMJ card with you can help protect you if law enforcement wants to know why you have cannabis (especially in states where recreational marijuana is also illegal). To go one step further, you can bring a note from your doctor that explains your health condition and why you need MMJ to help treat it.

It’s always better to have these two things with you rather than risk ending up wishing you had packed them.

Research the stops you’ll be making to see if it’s legal to have marijuana

There are many places in the US where it’s still illegal to consume marijuana (especially state parks and some rest stops). To make sure you’re always on the right side of the law, look up all of the places you’ll be stopping or staying overnight to find out what their policies are about cannabis possession and consumption.

 

MMJRecs - travel

Image by Jorge Saavedra on Unsplash: Research your route ahead of time so you’re aware of how to travel with cannabis in the car.

Use MMJ products with discretion

Wherever possible, it’s safest to use your cannabis products discreetly or in private. You’re much less likely to draw attention to yourself (from law enforcement, campground owners, other travelers, etc.) if you’re dosing in a less overt way.

Think about switching to tinctures or edibles

On the same note, if you want to make sure you’re using your products with discretion, consider switching the form in which you’re ingesting them. For example, tinctures or edibles are much harder to spot and can be more portable, so you’re less likely to have any problems using these types of MMJ products.

There’s no better time to take a road trip in the US. Try to remember these tips and use your MMJ products responsibly during your entire journey. With everything from gorgeous state parks to fun city sights, road-tripping allows you to see everything the country has to offer – without requiring you to leave your MMJ at home!

Featured image by Averie Woodard on Unsplash