Is My Medical Marijuana Card Valid in Other States?

Is My Medical Marijuana Card Valid in Other States?

As legalization of marijuana is sweeping across the nation individual states are declaring the need for medical marijuana and cannabis medical treatments a viable form of healthcare for patients. More and more states are passing ballot initiatives and making medical marijuana available, some 25 states and two territories at the current moment. With that in mind, patients wishing to travel need to have some considerations when taking their medical marijuana with them since federally the drug is a schedule 1 substance and illegal to carry across the country. But several states that have legalized marijuana or cannabis have written into their body of legislature reciprocity laws that allow for patients to obtain medical marijuana and cannabis in different states with valid recommendations from another state.

Reciprocity is the acceptance of a valid marijuana recommendation from a medical professional issued from a different state within the country. The provision allows patients to purchase medical marijuana and keep it on their person as long as they have a valid identification card, license, or certification for it. States such as Nevada are providing that provision in the near future but to recreational users from anywhere in the country as well as outside of it. The fiscal and economic implications for states with a reciprocity law are too large to track under the current circumstances but financially in terms of revenue and taxes the states that have them stand to make substantial sums of profit.

Arizona and Montana have reciprocity in their medical marijuana laws. Maine allows out-of-state patients to exercise their rights for 30 days. Rhode Island respects out-of-state recommendations for any “debilitating medical condition.” Michigan accepts medical cards from states that also have reciprocity. Vermont allows recommendations from neighboring states for Vermont residents only. The Oregon law does not include a reciprocity provision. However, the Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled (and the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program has confirmed) that patients from out of state are permitted to register with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program to obtain a registry identification card, the same as an Oregon resident, which will protect them from arrest or prosecution while in Oregon. These out of state patients are required to obtain a recommendation for the medical use of marijuana from an Oregon licensed physician” This information is direct from California’s Norml website, dedicated to describing patient rights, especially those concerning reciprocity.

If you are a marijuana patient and are considering travel to another state check with local laws of the states that you are travelling to see if medical marijuana recommendations are accepted, otherwise you could be facing unwanted charges and possibly prosecution. Erring on the side of caution is always smarter when dealing with reciprocity laws. For more information search online websites such as California Norml or The Marijuana Policy Project as information is consistently updated for patient’s rights.


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