Can I drive through Arizona with weed I legally bought in Colorado?

by Blaze Ridcully

Hello out there! This is Blaze and Puf, your two friendly neighborhood potheads. Last issue we kicked off a new feature in this here magazine called, well, “Ask a couple of potheads,” and this is round two of your question and answer series. We decided to do this because we keep getting more and more texts and emails asking us things you guys think are too dumb to ask other people. Apparently we’re your safe place for answers on all things pot, and while we never mind chatting about the devil’s lettuce, we would appreciate you asking the questions sometime BEFORE midnight. (Sorry to call you out, mom.)Otherwise, we want your questions. We freaking LOVE THAT, provided it’s at an hour when we aren’t passed out from too much of a good thing. For real. We like being the idiots who answer your deepest, darkest questions on things like, “How much THC is too much THC?” or “What is this that I’m vaping?” So, in order to get you guys to stop texting us photos of some blurry lump of bright yellow wax at 2 a.m., we thought we’d open up a Q&A instead. You can ask us ANYTHING YOU WANT TO in here. There are no rules. You can even email us at 4 a.m. on a Tuesday if you want to. The world is your freaking pothead oyster! So come one, come all with your silly, embarrassing, or just plain weird questions about weed, weed-related issues, and whatever else you can dream up. We’ll do our best to answer them in the best way possible. And here we go.I travel to Nevada a lot and Arizona and Utah are on the way. Arizona just legalized recreational marijuana. Utah, on the other hand, bah humbug. My question is this: Can I drive through Arizona with weed I legally bought in Colorado? Is it like my handgun?

Blaze: Traveling with weed can be a nerve-wracking process, even where it’s legal. There are so many do’s and don’ts to consider. This is a tricky question but the short answer to this question is no, it is unfortunately not legal for you to bring your legally bought weed from Colorado to Arizona. Because weed is not yet federally legal, crossing state lines with marijuana could be seen as a federal crime, even if both states you’re traveling in have legalized cannabis. Essentially, until weed is decriminalized or legalized on a federal level (fingers crossed), we suggest abstaining from crossing state lines with marijuana.

Puf: You were really trying to stump us, weren’t you, you tricky little devil? And it worked, too! This question threw me for a loop and I had to do some research. We don’t want to send someone driving across state lines with a felony amount of concentrate, now do we?

Let’s start with the obvious: Weed is not like your handgun. It does not shoot things; it gets you high. And unlike handguns, weed is not federally legal, so the rules are way different on how it’s handled. Here in Colorado, we have a sweet deal. We can drive with the legal amount we can possess as adults over the age of 21, provided we are not smoking it and/or imbibing when traveling. (Obviously.) But when it comes to driving through other states with legally purchased weed, the answer is a lot more convoluted.

Interstate travel is subject to federal law, which says you cannot travel across state lines (or anywhere really) with cannabis. It’s still illegal under federal law. So, even if you legally purchased marijuana in Colorado and are taking it back to Arizona where you have a medical card, which has both medical and rec cannabis (as of the election!), transporting it across state lines is still a federal offense. Federal prison may be cushier than your local county jail, but is it really that cushy? Probably not — and you certainly can’t get high-end cannabis in there.

Now, will you actually get in trouble for it if you’re going straight from Colorado to Arizona, two legal states? Probably not, but it’s still not advisable. There’s a real pissing contest between federal and state lawmakers over cannabis, and you don’t want to be the one who’s made an example of. The penalties are pretty freaking harsh under federal law, and while that’s stupider than stupid, it’s still the legal precedent.

If you want to possess weed in Arizona, my suggestion is to just buy some in Arizona. Same with Nevada! Both either have or are set to have thriving cannabis industries, and you might even be able to find some cool-ass products there that you can’t get in Colorado! (Also, if you go by that weird sea-themed dispensary in Vegas, can you pick us up a few things? Just kidding! Don’t drive to Colorado from another legal state with weed, either! Also not wise!)

The moral of this long, drawn-out diatribe is this: Until federal law changes, stay in the state you bought your weed in. Don’t drive with it, don’t hide it in your gas tank, and certainly do not risk violating federal law in any form or fashion. You don’t want to spend any time in the federal pen. I once spent 24 hours in a county jail for a misplaced traffic ticket (long story), and trust me. Baloney sandwiches and scary corrections officers are not the good life.

I’m pretty new to smoking weed, and drugs of any kind make me nervous. Is it possible to overdose on weed?Puf: Anyone who tells you that you can OD on weed is living in the Nancy Reagan era. You cannot overdose on the ganja. You can’t die from it. You’ll feel like utter hell if you eat or smoke too much — my partner just did this recently, in fact. They misread the label on a tincture and took 100 mg of the tincture instead of 10 mg. They woke up, looked like the walking dead, and I honestly thought they had COVID because they felt so crappy. Spoiler alert: They did not have COVID. They are just idiots. It wasn’t a fun ride for them, though — and they felt groggy and nauseous for a day or so after.

Do it right and you’re going to be a pothead in no time. The best thing you can do is go slow, try out some lower-THC products, and remember that the feeling isn’t permanent if you don’t like it. Eat some food, flip on Netflix, and distract yourself. Or, if you’re feeling anxious, grab some CBD and take it. That should help knock out the high anxiety that can happen with certain strains.

Blaze: Sorry to hear marijuana makes you nervous! Also, welcome to the wonderful world of weed!

While everyone reacts differently to marijuana, especially depending on the strain or product, most people don’t have to worry about having a severe medical reaction to weed. On the other hand, there are people who are allergic to marijuana and they should absolutely stay away from marijuana.

And no, you cannot fatally overdose on cannabis like you can other recreational drugs. Though, you can intake too much THC and end up with symptoms like anxiety, panic, nausea, paranoia, and hallucinations. Not fun.

However, like with other recreational drugs, like alcohol, be responsible when using marijuana. Don’t drive under the influence and know your limits.

I get lots of joint pain and I’m sick of taking pain killers and medication that doesn’t work. I’m looking to try marijuana as an alternative method to manage my pain. What do you recommend I try?

Blaze: First off, I’d like to point out the obvious: we’re not physicians (shocking, I know). We’re just two stoners who know a little something about cannabis, so take that as you will. Second of all, I have good news: Marijuana might just be able to help you out!

Be sure to check what conditions your state has approved for patient access to medical marijuana. Here in Colorado, these are the debilitating conditions that legislation qualifies for medical marijuana use: cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS positive, cachexia, persistent muscle spasms, seizures, severe nausea, and severe pain.

If you’re not able to get a medical marijuana card, we have more good news! Recreational marijuana products have come far. While there are many benefits to having your med card (like higher dosages and cheaper pricing), there are lots of great options on the recreational side as well. There are salves, bath salts, tinctures, edibles, strains, concentrates, and more that may provide some relief. Check with your budtender next time you’re in a dispensary to see what kind of suggestions they have on specific products.

Puf: Well, to start, it’s worth pointing out that I have zero background in medicine. I am not a doctor, nor do I even understand basic science. I got a pity D in microbiology in college.

That said, I do know a few things about the weeeeeeed. I also know how devastating the nation’s opioid crisis is, and it’s a good thing to try and find alternatives to pharmaceuticals when you can. Weed is one of those suitable alternatives for many people.

What we can recommend is really based on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you need real pain relief, you’re going to need to eat or smoke (or vape) a cannabis product. That’s what really helps knock out pain for me. I’ve talked about it before but as someone with a chronic gastrointestinal issue, cannabis has been a lifesaver. It lets me eat without pain on days when it flares up, and for that I thank the weed gods. So, if you’re willing to go with an edible, concentrate, or flower, I would start with an indica. Indicas have been what’s most effective for me when it comes to pain relief. Sativas are a lot more racy and focused, which makes me hyper-focus on the pain. That is NOT what you want. You want relief. I would also ask the budtender. They’re a wealth of knowledge when it comes to cannabis products, and they can help you narrow down the options to what will potentially work for you.

If you’re not comfortable with eating or smoking weed, you may have some luck with a topical. I haven’t had a ton of luck with topicals, but there are some people who swear by them. Those are easy, won’t get you high, and have the potential to help that deep joint pain you’re dealing with. There are tons of options out there, and Mary Jane’s Medicinals is one of the best. They’ve got tons of topical products to choose from, and so do a ton of other cannabis companies. (And no, this is not sponsored by Mary Jane’s. They’re just honestly a good option.) There are even transdermal patches that could help you knock out some of your pain without the effects you’d get from smoking or taking edibles, so again, ask the budtender what they recommend. You’ll get a lot more insight from them on what has worked for others who shop at their dispensary.

I live in an area where recreational marijuana is not legal, but there is a hemp store down the road from where I live. I know hemp is federally legal and I’m curious to try the products that are made with it (delta 8 THC, for example). Thoughts on buying hemp products in a prohibition state even though it’s federally legal?Puf: Well, let’s start with this: Most synthesized THC products made from hemp, which primarily include delta 8 products, are not, in fact, legal in prohibition states. There was a gray area until recently that allowed some online stores to sell delta 8 products to anyone who ordered them, but it wasn’t exactly legal. Those retailers were operating under an incorrect assumption that federal legalization of hemp included the legalization of synthesized products made from hemp. However, laws have been clarified since, and now any synthesized cannabinoid from hemp is illegal under federal law. If you live in a prohibition state, that means those laws apply to you.

The only real thing you can try that’s federally legal and derived from hemp is CBD. If you’re looking to get high, that won’t cut it. CBD can help you relax and maybe help with some inflammation or pain, but if you want to get stoned-face, CBD is going to be a waste of time. It sucks, but that’s the way it is for now. The best thing you can do is join advocacy groups that are fighting for legalization in your state. Be part of a bigger solution, you know?

Also, I want to say that you should not order any cannabis or THC products off the web. There are still retailers willing to sell them to you, but there’s no regulation on these types of products and you don’t know what’s actually in them. You could be buying something that’s full of harmful residue or something that has more THC than is legally allowed in your state. If you do, you’re on the hook legally if you get caught. You’re also playing games with your health, which probably isn’t wise.

Blaze: Oof. This is where things can get into some gray, sticky legal territory. Be careful if you choose to purchase items from a hemp store. If you’re in a prohibition state, local or state authorities might not give a hoot if it’s federally legal and you might find yourself in a bit of trouble.

On the other hand, we highly recommend that, if you’re purchasing hemp products, get them in a state where it’s legalized and the products are regulated for quality. If you’re getting these products in a prohibition state, there’s a chance those products and companies aren’t being regulated and, if that’s the case, who knows what’s in that stuff you’re buying!

Want to submit a question for Blaze and Puf? Email [email protected] with your questions. We’ll do our best to answer them in our rambling, semi-coherent fashion. Blaze RidcullyDGO Pufnstuf

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We’re here to answer your weird, wild, and wonderful weed questions all day, e’ry day Hey there, friends! This is Blaze and Puf, your resident

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