Weed Travels: Can You Bring Cannabis into a State or National Park?

weed travels | weed travel tips | is cannabis legal in state parks | is weed legal in yellowstone

Consuming cannabis in nature can be a heady experience that differs from indoor partaking. If your state has legalized it, private property is typically a safe place for smoking and vaping. Beyond the boundaries of a backyard, acreage or rooftop, many public spaces do not allow marijuana products. However, for those looking for weed travel tips, doing a bit of research can be a rewarding way to have your cannabis and consume it too! Is cannabis legal in state parks? Is weed legal in Yellowstone? It’s time for Weed Travels!

Pristine nature and national parks go hand in hand but be cautious! National parks abide by federal law and cannabis remains illegal under federal law, however cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC is considered technically legal. An additional note: national parks in the United States abide by their own separate regulations that may vary. These laws and regulations are designed to protect the parkland, wildlife and visitors. It is important to remember the land inside a national park is considered government land, not related to the state it is in, and therefore, not under state laws. Those caught with cannabis in a national park may face severe penalties, including steep fines, jail time and possible repercussions in your home state. Cross country trails also can have sections that are on federal land. Still wondering, for example, is weed legal in Yellowstone? Per an affiliated website, it is not. Period. (Bummer.)

Alex Freeburg, a criminal defense attorney who represents people accused of smoking or possessing cannabis in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, notes sprawling forested area doesn’t mean anyone can sneak a puff and get away with it. “The feds have way more resources than the states do… and are nationwide. In my experience—in Wyoming—on a first defense pot charge, you can get on probation,” says Freeburg. “If they’re not from Wyoming no big deal, they go back to their home state and there’s no Wyoming probation officer, you know, to check up on you in California. But with the feds, there is.”

Is cannabis legal in state parks?

Since national parks are out, many wonder is cannabis legal in state parks? Most state parks do not allow outside consumption of cannabis but check your specific potential site. Something that is key to consider for weed travels: not all states and countries allow non-residents to consume cannabis while visiting. Be sure to check the most recent laws before smoking and vaping as a tourist. Washington State Parks & Recreation Commission and Colorado Parks & Wildlife have both confirmed cannabis in their state parks is not permitted. On the plus side, in Colorado, Oregon and Washington State, privately owned camping areas that are weed-friendly have been increasing in numbers.

Weed Travel Tips

If you are interested in visiting a state park or beach in a legalized state with unclear rules regarding cannabis consumption, here are some weed travel tips for minimizing risk. (Of course, we are not attorneys and this is not legal advice; proceed at your own risk.)

  1.       Minimize smell by using vape pens and edibles instead of pipes.
  2.       If smoke is necessary, consume in the car before going out.
  3.       Keep cannabis in a different place than identification cards and insurance.
  4.       Decline if asked to search your car. Demand a warrant if the officer persists.
  5.       Don’t claim shared responsibility if caught. This will result in penalties for everyone.

Weed Travels in Canada

For Canadians, the rules are different when enjoying nature in their own country. Most Parks Canada permits cannabis on private sites but not in common areas such as parking areas, kitchen shelters, washrooms, playgrounds, roadways and national historic sites. As in the United States, private campgrounds and different municipalities have varying rules, so do the research into the specific community and facilities before arriving.

For those without medical exemptions, best to keep quantities under 30 grams. In Canada, adults can have up to “30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public,” according to the Cannabis Act. The “equivalent” is varied and based on consumption method. For example, one gram of dried cannabis is equal to 15 grams of edibles. Concentrates, on the other hand, are equal to 0.25 grams of dried product. Fines for cannabis infractions can range from $750 to $2,250.

Itching for some travel time now? CannaCon will be in Detroit July 22-23, and in August, CannaCon will be back in Chicago! This is the nation’s leading business-to-business cannabis conference. The goal of CannaCon is to grow the cannabis industry by educating cannabis business owners on all things related to cannabis and CBD. Their trade shows feature a large exhibition hall with exhibitors from around the country and seminars delivered by industry experts. Register to attend a CannaCon today!

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