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I have a medical marijuana card in Washington, and I need to fly to
Massachusetts for business. Since these
are both medical marijuana states, can I fly with a personal use amount?
No. You are protected by the Washington medical
marijuana law only while you are within Washington. Although Washington, Massachusetts and many
other states have authorized the use and possession of medical marijuana, or
otherwise reduced the criminal liabilities for use and possession, the federal
government has not. If you take any amount of marijuana or related implements
to an airport or on a plane and are caught by federal security personnel from
any federal agency – such as TSA or DEA, for example – you could face federal
drug charges ranging from simple possession to possession with intent to sell
to drug trafficking.
You could be even
be charged with all of the above. Under
federal law, possession of marijuana is punishable by up to one year in jail
and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction. For a second conviction, the penalties
increase to a 15-day mandatory minimum sentence with a maximum of two years in
prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent convictions carry a 90-day mandatory minimum sentence and a
maximum of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
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