This July 4th holiday marks the first for legalized adult-use cannabis consumption and possession in Michigan. While exciting, it’s also important to remain cautious of the following when traveling and vacationing on this holiday:
1. You still cannot smoke cannabis in public
An adult using marijuana in public is punishable by a $100 fine. However, no matter how many times you commit the offense, it will always be no more than a $100 civil infraction. Generally, “public” is defined as being outside your private residence.
2. There is a limit on how much cannabis you can travel with
The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (MRTMA) states that you may transport and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a locked container (excluding K-12 schools, on a school bus or on federal property where you cannot possess any amount). This law does not specify how to lawfully transport your cannabis, but a best practice would be to store it in a locked container when you are in any type of vehicle.
While this container can be anywhere in your vehicle, Associate Attorney Chris Urban for the Law Offices of Barton Morris recommends placing it in the trunk compartment.
“If it (the container) is anywhere close to you, they’re going to assume that you either need it right there or that you had recently used it,” he said.
3. Remember where exactly you’re traveling
The above rules and regulations solely apply to Michigan. If you’re traveling out of state for the holiday, you must keep aware of their laws surrounding adult-use cannabis consumption and possession. While Illinois recently legalized adult-use marijuana consumption, this is still illegal in other nearby states such as Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Even if the state you are traveling to is a legal cannabis state, think about it: other states you may be traveling through may still criminalize cannabis consumption/possession.
Possession of cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and if you are caught transporting cannabis from one state to another state (even if both states are legal) this is a more serious federal offense that you could be violating.
4. Boats are treated no differently than cars
On traveling/driving with cannabis, MRTMA states:
This act does not authorize:
(a) operating, navigating, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat while under the influence of marijuana.
This act does not authorize…
(e) consuming marihuana while operating, navigating, or being in physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, snowmobile, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat, or smoking marihuana within the passenger area of a vehicle upon a public way.
Therefore, it’s safe to say that the same rules apply to boats as they do to cars. If you smoke on a boat this holiday (whether as the driver or a passenger), you are taking a risk in getting in trouble with the law.
For further information on traveling with cannabis, watch Episode 96 of our Cannabusiness Live series to hear from Cannabis Legal Group associate attorneys Jennifer Domingue and Nick Galendez and Law Offices of Barton Morris associate attorney Chris Urban >>