Small bag of marijuana

You've spent the week in Colorado, on vacation. You know marijuana is legal in small amounts, and you bought some. Now you're heading back to your home state, where it's still illegal, and you're wondering if you can take it with you. Is it legally yours just because you bought it in accordance with the law?

State Lines

You cannot bring it out of the state. It is still illegal in your home state, for one thing, and you're also violating the law if you have it in your possession when you cross state lines.

A Common Question

You're not alone in wondering what to do. Rental car companies at the airport, for instance, have reported finding marijuana left in their vehicles almost every single day. People travel around with it, but when they show up at the airport, they get nervous. They remember that they're not allowed to fly with it. In the age of heightened airport security, they panic and just leave it in the car.

So What Happens?

If the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) finds marijuana in your bags, they'll contact the authorities at the Denver International Airport (DIA). Marijuana is banned at the airport itself, since it's a travel hub, and they'll take your marijuana away. They have the option to give you a citation, as well, which runs you $150 for the first offense.

You're actually putting yourself at more of a risk, in many ways, if you smuggle it through the airport and past the TSA. Then, when you land in your home state, if you're caught with it, you're subject to the state laws -- where marijuana is still illegal.

Accidents and Charges

This creates a potential problem if you forget that you have marijuana on you, accidentally smuggle it through the airport, land at home, and then get caught. You didn't intend to break the law, but, thanks to differences in marijuana laws from state to state, you did. At that point, it's critical to know your defense options.