Marijuana and Driving Rules: How to Transport Cannabis Safely

4 min read
marijuana driving rules

If you live in a legal cannabis state, there is no doubt that at some point, you will need to transport your stash. Whether it’s just a short drive home from your local dispensary or a half day road trip for a camping weekend with friends, there will be a time when you need to drive with cannabis in your vehicle. The rules regarding the transport of marijuana vary from state to state and sometimes change, so it can be easy to lose track.

Driving under the influence of marijuana

Just like driving drunk, driving under the influence of weed is never a good idea and could land you a DUI anywhere in the United States. Smoking weed while driving impairs judgement and slows reaction time and coordination so there’s no reason to drive blazed. Just transport your stash safely and smoke when you get home.

Where marijuana is legal, you can absolutely transport pot within your vehicle safely. Since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level and regulations are created by each state, it can be difficult to keep track of the laws. In general, marijuana is treated similarly to alcohol in the sense that drivers are not allowed to drive under the influence and should not have any pot easily accessible. That means, a joint within reach of the driver is against the law but if your bud is in the trunk or in a backpack in the backseat, in most places this is okay. Open container laws also apply in some states, so your ganja will also need to be in a closed, sealed container. To be on the safe side, your best bet is to just stash your bud in the trunk.

Please keep in mind that this article is just a roundup of the rules and regulations that are currently in place and should not be taken as legal advice. Remember to always obey local rules and be smart about your cannabis consumption. Here is a more detailed summary of the cannabis laws by state:

Alaska

There are no specific laws that outline how cannabis products should be transported, but you should probably just put it in the trunk. If you’re pulled over for any reason and a police officer can see marijuana or any smoking accessories visible, they can choose to give you a physical impairment test.

California

The Golden State’s open container law (Vehicle Code 23222(b)) pertains to both alcohol and marijuana. Under the rule, all cannabis products (i.e. concentrates, edibles, dry herb, etc.) being transported in a vehicle must be sealed and unopened. Any violation under this law can result in up to a $100 fine.

Colorado

The Centennial State has one of the strictest cannabis regulations when it comes to transporting marijuana and is one of the few with a specific maximum THC blood level, which is 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood. It is illegal to transport a partially consumed cannabis product that has the seal broken. Passengers and drivers are not allowed to open any kind of cannabis product while in the car and any evidence of use in the car is considered a traffic violation.

Illinois

As the newest addition to the growing list of legal states, Illinois is still defining their marijuana laws, however as of now it is illegal to consume cannabis in any public place or vehicle of any kind even when parked. The maximum amount allowed to be transported at any time is 30 grams. Cannabis needs to be in the sealed original package and out of arm's reach of the driver. A THC blood concentration of five nanograms or more per milliliter of blood is considered to be a DUI.

Maine

Drivers can transport up to 2.5 ounces of bud within the cabin of the car, but only when in a sealed, child-proof container.

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, marijuana in a sealed container can be transported in the trunk only.

Michigan

No one in the car is allowed to consume marijuana, but up to 2.5 ounces of dry herb is allowed in the cabin. Though the current law doesn’t specify, it’s probably best to keep all bud in a sealed container.

Nevada

Similar to California, any open cannabis product falls under the state open container law. It’s possible to drive with up to one ounce of flower or an eighth ounce of cannabis concentrates.

Oregon

The Beaver State is not a newbie in the legal cannabis game and has set out specific rules when it comes to driving. All cannabis products in a vehicle must be in a sealed, child-proof container that is not within reach of the driver. You can transport up to one ounce of dry herb, extracts, or concentrates (except liquid), 16 ounces of edibles, and 72 ounces of liquid cannabis products like THC cartridges or CBD oil.

Vermont

In Vermont, cannabis falls under the open container law just like in California and Nevada. All products need to be sealed and anyone in the car (drivers or passengers) with an open container can be charged with a fine up to $200.

Washington

Partially consumed cannabis or any pot not in its original package with the seal unbroken is a no go. In this Pacific Northwest state, all cannabis needs to be stored in the trunk or out of reach of any passenger or the driver if the vehicle doesn’t have a trunk.

Washington D.C.

In the U.S. capital, it’s illegal to consume marijuana in public or transport it if visible to others. “Any street, alley, park, or parking area” is considered a public space, so do not hotbox in the car. It’s safest to always keep pot in a bag in the trunk.

Weed Stash Box with lock

If you’re planning to drive with marijuana, consider a smell-proof and water-resistant weed stash box or container so no one will know whether you’re carrying pot or just some smelly gym clothes. The Revelry bags even have locks!

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