Virginia took a huge step last year when Governor Terry McAuliffe signed legislation that now gives patients with severe epilepsy access to medical marijuana oil. Unfortunately, this is the only step our state has taken in recent years toward fully decriminalizing medical marijuana and its recreational cousin. To this day, if residents want access to the drug in our state, they must do so illegally and risk arrest.
To avoid the risk of criminal charges, residents in Virginia Beach and across the state are choosing instead to travel to states where recreational marijuana is legal – states like Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Sometimes referred to as pot vacations, or pot-cations, these types of trips give people the chance to experience marijuana without the threat of arrest, prosecution and jail time for using a federally regulated drug.
But our Virginia readers should be warned: be careful about the souvenirs you choose to bring home with you from one of these states.
That's because the decision to bring marijuana back with you from your vacation could lead to drug charges in Virginia. As we just explained, marijuana is still federally regulated, which means that bringing it across state lines into a state where the drug has not been legalized could constitute as illegal transport of a controlled substance and you could face federal charges. If you were caught in Virginia with marijuana, you could face possession charges and the penalties associated with such a charge.
Whatever your reasons are for visiting states like Washington, Oregon and Colorado, know that bringing marijuana home to Virginia could lead to serious criminal charges, warranting the need for a defense attorney with experience handling drug crimes.