This article is for information purposes only; we do not encourage anyone to break the law.
Are you getting ready to hit the road and wondering if your weed can ride, too? Because of the wavering legality of cannabis from place to place, taking cannabis on the road can be risky business. Still, it’s possible to minimize this risk with a little forethought. Knowing your local laws and carefully preparing your travel-friendly smoking kit are crucial steps to ensuring you’re within your rights and can carry your bud discreetly.
If you’re looking for the secrets of how to sneak weed on the plane like the peanut butter jar idea… think again. This guide is for responsible, mature adults who are not interested in acting deviously. We aim to help you understand the legality of traveling with weed and give you some tips and tricks for taking it in the car and on the plane. We’ll also cover some of the best 420 travel supplies for your smoking kit, so you can be ready to spark up as soon as you touch down.
Table of contents
4 Tips for Driving with Weed
Hotboxing your car while blasting Bob Marley’s Legend and cruising down I-70 may sound like a good idea—until you’re getting handcuffed by an ornery officer and explaining to him why there’s an oven-fire’s worth of smoke billowing from your open window.
Smoking and driving is never a good idea—but what about just keeping weed or a 420 travel kit in your car while you’re driving? Whether you’re in a state with legal weed like Colorado (or taking a Colorado Weedcation) or you’re passing through an inhospitable land like Utah or Texas, there are a few ways to minimize risk while driving with weed in your car. Here are a few of our favorite tips to stay out of trouble while you’re on the road:
Don’t smoke in the car
Our first piece of advice sounds obvious, and it might be a total buzzkill, but we recommend you don’t smoke in the car. Smoking—and even vaping—in your car before you drive is a dead giveaway. And even if you’re not high anymore, the lingering scent of smoke gives any police officer with a pair of nostrils probable cause to search your vehicle.
You might snort at this advice and say, “I’m a great high driver.” While we believe that driving high is not nearly as dangerous as driving drunk, it’s important to acknowledge that when you’re stoned, your reaction times are slower, your peripheral vision is decreased, and your ability to multi-task is impeded. You’re not going to necessarily drive off a cliff, but you aren’t exactly ready for a Formula 1 race, either. Recognizing the potential for impairment goes a long way.
Keep that stash under an ounce
If you have a duffle bag full of chronic with you in the car, chances are you’re going to have some explaining to do to the law. Even in states where weed is legal, the average Joe can’t just haul around pounds of kush. Possession jumps to distribution, community service turns into hard jail time. Unless it absolutely can’t be avoided, keeping your stash to under an ounce is a great rule of thumb.
Keep the flower in the trunk
Keep that herb in the trunk! Why? This tip could be the difference between a DUI and a simple possession charge — if you can’t reach it from the driver’s seat, you probably weren’t smoking while driving. Keep the stash in the trunk, know your rights, and play it cool.
Use a Stash Case
Keep your car clean of roaches, pipes, papers. Our recommendation? Snag a smell proof stash bag or case. This sleek smoking kit keeps all of your essentials in one place. The outdoor-grade zipper keeps your stash smell-proof and the rugged exterior protects your smoking accessories from bumps in the road. It is, without a doubt, the best way to manage your smoking supplies—no matter where you’re traveling.
BloomGroove sells some really good weed storage containers, and you can also pick up some great 420 travel stash kits on Amazon like this smell-proof, water-proof, and lockable stash box called Blackbox by Kulbi.
Tips for Flying With Weed
If you consume cannabis, the question of flying with your stash has surely crossed your mind. Understandably so: many people use cannabis as medicine and would never consider leaving home without it.
Some CBD companies like CBD Living are even making travel-size CBD products, which are safe and legal to fly with. The simple answer: it’s still technically illegal to fly with weed, but TSA isn’t interested in busting you for a vape pen and a few joints in your 420 travel kit.
“TSA security officers do not search for marijuana.” – TSA.gov
The long answer is, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The answer depends on where you’re flying, how much cannabis you intend to carry, and how much risk you are comfortable assuming. The following tips will clear things up and help you decide whether you should fly with your stash or just restock when you arrive.
Who’s in Charge?
Before we proceed, lets clear up a common misconception – TSA officers are not cops. They do security work, but their job is not to enforce the law. What about the canines? Those are more likely to be bomb dogs, as opposed to drug dogs, if you’re in the domestic terminal. Note: This pertains to domestic travel only! Being caught with cannabis abroad can have severe consequences, so be responsible.
That’s a Bomb dog, not a Drug dog
The TSA has publicly stated on its website that its officers “do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs,” but warns that its agents are required to turn over those found with cannabis or other drugs to local law enforcement (aka the cops). That said, your departure city and destination are important — they will dictate the laws you are subject to if you were to get caught.
Because cannabis is illegal nationally, the federal legality will not change with location. However, you will be subject to the individual state’s laws and the airport’s laws, if applicable. Keep in mind there is a whole other set of rules for paraphernalia, so you definitely need to do something about those unique weed accessories you’re carrying.
Now, the worst-case scenario: what happens if you do get caught? The outcome will vary greatly depending on whether you get caught in Colorado or Arkansas.
For instance, the Denver International Airport made cannabis possession illegal on airport grounds despite its legality statewide. However, they probably aren’t going to do anything if you get caught. In 2014, 29 people were caught trying to leave Denver International Airport (DIA) with cannabis and in each instance, police declined to issue citations – the passengers were allowed to board planes after throwing out the cannabis or concentrates.
The result would likely have been wildly different if the same person was caught leaving Arkansas International Airport, where the penalty for possessing up to 4 ounces of marijuana is punishable with up to a year of jail time and fines up to $2,500. If you are traveling to or from Denver, we highly recommend reading our tips for smoking weed at high altitude. No one wants to inadvertently ruin their first “weedcation,” or a trip to Colorado to smoke.
Evaluate the Quantity
The amount of weed you can fly with is directly linked to your departing state’s possession limits. For example, if you are flying with weed on a plane within a state with legal cannabis programs, you can fly with an amount up to that state’s legal medical and/or recreational limit. Just be aware that if you land in a state with less friendly cannabis laws, you are now at risk of being charged with possession.
If you are flying from a state where cannabis remains illegal and you are dead-set on flying, try to keep quantities under your state’s lowest tier possession limit. As a general rule of thumb, both TSA and local law enforcement officers are going to be less concerned if you are traveling with an amount of cannabis that is clearly for personal use (like a few joints, or a vaporizer and a small container with BHO or another concentrate), as opposed to a weight viable for distribution.
Recommendations for Mitigating Risk
There is no perfect combination of itinerary or cannabis quantity that will guarantee a risk-free flight. For those struggling with nerves, either consume before the flight or consider edibles, as they are virtually indistinguishable from their un-infused counterparts and produce very little odor.
One option is simply bringing your smoking supplies and then buying the herb itself when you arrive at your destination. A safety case stash box allows you to pack all your smoking essentials like rolling papers, pipes, grinders, lighters and more.
If the whole idea makes you uncomfortable, you might consider traveling with CBD, which is a non-psychoactive option that is perfectly legal to fly with.
What About CBD?
As CBD and industrial hemp products are legal at the federal level, you are permitted to travel with them. That said, we need to make a special note about hemp flower in particular.
If you are traveling with raw hemp flower, you’ll need to understand that, if you are caught with it, there’s an excellent chance that law enforcement will believe it is cannabis regardless of what you have to say. Quality organic hemp flower (like the strains from Canna Comforts) is visually and olfactory indistinguishable from cannabis flower (Lifter strain is good example of a legal high-CBD strain) so it will take laboratory testing to prove it’s legal.
While the legality of the buds can be determined through laboratory testing, you may be stuck somewhere until your name is cleared — not ideal! For this reason, it might be best to stick to CBD vape pens while traveling for the time being.
10 Essentials for Your 420 Travel Kit
Now that you know how and where you can travel with weed, you may be wondering how you can make your stash more portable. The answer? A personalized 420 travel kit.
These are a few of our favorite travel essentials — all of which simplify your smoking and vaping experience on the go. It’s a hassle to stop at a headshop when you arrive in a new city. Instead of scrambling for supplies, pack a travel-friendly, smell-proof 420 travel kit and you’ll have no problem taking flight once you touch down at your final destination.
Everyone knows using a grinder is critical for rolling joints or getting a smooth hit from your vape / pipe. You might prefer a premium grinder, but who wants to clean out their kief-catcher just to comply with TSA regulations? Easy to clean and quick to use, the inconspicuous, stashable grinder card is a crucial item for the traveling stoner.
An obvious essential that’s often forgotten and/or misplaced. Why waste time stopping at a gas station when you have a dozen on the coffee table at home? And yes, you can bring a lighter on-board, so long as it’s in your carry-on. You might have to leave the blow torch for your dab rig at home, though.
If you do forget your rolling tips, you can always rip off a piece of that airline magazine cover that’s in the seat pocket in front of you. But we prefer a clean crutch, so we always make sure we bring a crisp set of rolling tips.
Dabber / Poker
This is a crucial tool we never travel without. The skinny metal tool will often be overlooked in TSA screenings, but it’s a good idea to meticulously clean it prior to travel, just in case. A slim, travel-size tool is essential for loading a vape pen or clearing your one-hitter.
They’re often included in good stash boxes like our favorite, the Sky High 11 Piece Stash Box.
A silicone dab mat handles two tasks: it allows you to handle extracts with ease, and it also protects your Safety Case from getting sticky with oil—something you don’t want to happen, especially if you’re going to be flying again.
We use (and love) the premium silicone Honeymat from Dr. Dabber.
Smell-proof containers keep your stash organized and discreet. You can buy a variety of smell-proof vacuum storage containers like these from BloomGroove.
Most of the time when we smoke on the road, we end up rolling joints. Having a pack of rolling papers on hand while traveling, even if you aren’t expecting to find weed at your destination, is a pro travel move.
A must for the traveling stoner, especially if you’re headed to a destination with a harsh penalty for smoking weed. Given the prevalence of e-cigs and the minimal smell of vaping oil, a vape pen is as incognito as it gets these days.
Our favorites are the portable vape pens from BloomGroove.
One-hitters are awesome for traveling for a number of reasons: they’re cheap, nearly impossible to break, and still pack quite the punch when smoking flower. Just make sure you clean it properly before heading to the airport.
Smell Proof Case
Above all else, the most important piece of the traveling stoner’s puzzle is a smell-proof, discreet stash box. Sometimes you really need a child safe, locking stash box to manage everything. Our favorite is the Sky High 11 Piece Stash Box.
In most cases, the legality of traveling with weed is directly tied to local laws. This means you should take time to understand the laws in the area of departure and in your final destinations. For driving with weed, you’re subject to the laws of the land in every state you pass through — travel responsibly.
TSA has special regulations regarding the amount of liquids or types of things that can be carried in your carry-on bag and luggage. Some CBD companies like CBD Living make travel-sized CBD products that meet these TSA regulations.
Alternative options, like taking edibles or vaporizers instead of fresh flower, carrying clean smoking tools and buying cannabis when you arrive, or opting for legal CBD products may be best in some cases.
There are many compact tools and stash boxes that can aid you in traveling with weed. If you plan to travel with your bud, assemble a 420 travel kit for seamless smoking on-the-go!