TSA (Transportation Security Administration) now allows CBD (Cannabidiol) in airports and on flights. TSA clarifies that the CBD products must be hemp-derived “under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018.” They recently updated a section of their website “What Can I Bring?” regarding medical marijuana shown below.
Possession of cannabis and “certain cannabis infused products” are still prohibited, but the wording opens up the possibility of some cannabis infused products being allowed. TSA has made it clear several times that their security officers are not searching for illegal drugs, including marijuana, when screening luggage. This tweet from February illustrates that, though their policy on hemp-derived CBD oil has changed.
Regulations were officially approved in Alaska to allow cannabis dispensaries to apply for on-site consumption permits.
While some city ordinances in states like California, where cannabis is also legal, have allowed some in-store cannabis use, Alaska is the first state to establish a statewide licensing system to permit patrons to use the cannabis products they purchase before leaving the dispensary.
The on-site cannabis consumption licensing process can be compared to the process used to permit bars and restaurants to serve alcohol on-site. The retail locations must meet certain requirements in order to operate.
The Alaska Marijuana Control Board approved the on-site-use regulations in December, and the Governor’s office recently signed off on them, making it official and allowing the process to proceed.
Retail shops may begin applying for an on-site consumption license as early as April 11 of this year, but Alaskans are not expected to see the new law in action before the middle of July, according to Erika McConnell, director of the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office.
Executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association Cary Carrigan warns that Alaskans should not expect very many dispensaries to begin offering on-site use right away.
“This is something that’s not happening anywhere else in the U.S. yet,” Carrigan told the Associated Press. “As we start to develop this, people are really looking at us, so I know that everybody wants to get it right.” Rolling out a program like this takes time and patience, and changes can still be made depending on the feedback received between now and then.
“I don’t want to have to get this pulled back and revisited,” Carrigan added.
In order for an on-site consumption application to be considered for a permit, the dispensary must first meet several special requirements. For example, only dispensaries located in free standing buildings will be considered. Any shop that is located in a strip mall or connected in any other way to another business or building will not be allowed to apply for a license. It is possible that in the future dispensaries may be allowed to apply for edibles-only consumption permits even if they are not free standing.
In order to apply for a permit, the business will also have to install a high-quality ventilation system and take other security measures.
To comply with the state’s existing cigarette smoking laws, the cannabis-smoking section must be kept separate from the retail portion of the facility where patrons make their purchases. On top of that, assuming the retail location wants to allow patrons to smoke dried cannabis flower on-site, a separate, smoke-free area must also be built for employees to be able to monitor the consuming-section without being subjected to smoke inhalation.
Dispensary customers will not be permitted to use cannabis products that they bring from home or buy from a different location. All products that are used on-site must have been purchased on-site.
Local governments will be able to decide whether or not on-site consumption permits will be issued in their jurisdiction. They will also be able to ban only certain types of methods of administration like smoking. Those who choose to ban smoking may decide to allow vaporizing or eating edibles. Each municipality will be able to decide what fits best for their residents.
Allowing on-site consumption will be a game changer in Alaska, especially for tourists. Like in most states that have legalized cannabis for recreational use, it remains illegal to consume in public places like hotels, Airbnb rentals, parks, the sidewalk, etc. This often leaves tourists and property renters without a safe space to consume the cannabis products they can legally buy. Allowing for on-site use will change that.
A couple of Democratic legislators in Tennessee are trying to tackle the state’s cannabis policy reform from within. They want law enforcement officers in the Volunteer State to be more understanding and friendly to traveling medical marijuana patients by allowing them to bring their medication with them when they visit.
Representative Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville) sponsored the legislation, HB0235, in the House, and Senator Sara Kyle (D-Memphis) introduced its companion SB0256 to the Senate.
“We don’t tell folks from other states ‘Please come visit us, but leave your Lipitor, Zocor, Ambien, or other Rx drugs at home,’” tweeted Kyle. “It should be the same for the law abiding citizens, in the 33 other states, who have legal prescriptions for marijuana.”
We don’t tell folks from other states ‘Please come visit us, but leave your Lipitor, Zocor, Ambien, or other Rx drugs at home.’ It should be the same for the law abiding citizens, in the 33 other states, who have legal prescriptions for marijuana. https://t.co/hDK4BY06Jd
If approved, a patient with a valid medical marijuana ID card from a legal state would be permitted to bring up to one half of an ounce of dried marijuana flower with them when they visit Tennessee. One patient would also be allowed to give medical cannabis to another registered, card-holding patient without being prosecuted.
“We’re talking about 86 percent of Americans believe that doctors should be able to prescribe it as medicine,” said Johnson. “We’re a big tourism state, and a lot of people come to Tennessee. We want them to be able to bring their medicine with them and not get in trouble for it.”
Johnson was inspired to introduce the legislation when her compassion was kicked into high gear after talking with a friend in Colorado who uses cannabis to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Johnson’s father suffered from severe face neuropathy caused by multiple sclerosis, also known as trigeminal neuralgia, which generated intense and unbearable pain, and forced him to be bedridden.
Cannabis is an effective treatment for neuropathic pain, according to research. Like it does for her friend in Colorado, Johnson thinks cannabis would have increased her father’s quality of life by easing the severity of his symptoms. She wants the suffering constituents in her state to have the right that her father did not — to use marijuana medicinally.
“Certainly, we’re going to enforce the laws as they are. But I think that, we need to revisit it, what we’re doing right now is not working,” she said. “Locking People up is expensive, and it’s not working.”
Johnson encourages her fellow legislators to seek to understand their constituents. “Don’t be afraid of legislation because it seems like a controversial issue because it may not be that way to your voters,” she said. “Talk to them, and see how they think.”
Cannabis laws are being reformed in many states throughout America, and similar changes are being made all over the world as people are learning more about the benefits that can be obtained from this plant with the not-so-positive reputation. While the one-and-only Amsterdam, Netherlands has been known as the place for marijuana-friendly tourists to vacation, some people would prefer to escape to a warmer, perhaps even tropical, destination. Now that laws are being reformed, there are many warm-climate destinations joining the realm of marijuana tourism.
In many places, as long as users are discreet, countries and local authorities may be nonchalant about marijuana use. Some countries are even beginning to encourage the reputation as a marijuana-friendly tourist destination because of the business and revenue it generates.
There are several amazing places that every marijuana enthusiast must visit at some point. Below are 5 of the warm-weather examples. The places on this list were evaluated by weather, activities offered, beauty, acceptance, and laws.
The United States purchased the 3 Virgin Island territories in the Caribbean, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, from Denmark almost 100 years ago. The three islands combined offer something for everyone, and they are all a short boat or plane ride from one another. St. Thomas has fun, sun, sand, a hot nightlife, and is an ideal spot for those who love to shop. St. John is a dream for the nature tourist, with stunning hiking trails, and very little of the island being inhabited. St. Croix is a scuba diver’s paradise, boasting some of the best dive sites in the world.
Although the islands share one local body of government, they are still technically regulated by the United States federal government, and therefore have operated under the same marijuana laws. However, perhaps inspired by the policy reform that swept the most recent U.S. election, the USVI senate recently voted to decriminalize marijuana possession with a quiet passing of a marijuana decriminalization bill. Now, an adult found in possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis may be ticketed and fined up to $200 with no jail time. Law enforcement officers will also have the right to choose whether to confiscate the plant at that time.
This southeast Asian nation, just north of the equator, borders Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, and offers many activities to entice every type of traveler. Tourists can explore ancient temples, trek to hidden mountain waterfalls, scuba dive, shop, or even relax on the beach.
Although cannabis is technically illegal in Cambodia, it is one of the country’s largest export crops, and locals use it regularly as medicine and cooking. It is also reported to be commonly smoked in the open. Many tourists on Trip Advisor report Happy Herb Pizza places as having pies on the menu that use cannabis as a topping. The same chain pizza restaurant reportedly sells joints. Thanks to Cambodia, tropical vacations in Asia can be added to the list of marijuana-friendly vacation destinations.
The tropical island country of Jamaica hosts thousands of people each year. Tourists travel from all over the world to bask in the tropical sun on the island’s beautiful beaches, swim in bioluminescent bays, and experience rastafarian culture. Although cannabis has been very illegal in Jamaica, tourists have never had difficulty finding it. Some tourists have even arranged to be taken on pot-sampling tours.
Now that the Jamaican government is officially decriminalizing marijuana possession, and even considering establishing retail sales of the plant, tourists and locals alike no longer have to fear being arrested for partaking. This applies to the entire island.
Australia is a large country that offers different climates depending on which part you travel to. The north part of the country tends to have a tropical climate, while the south end of the island nation is home to a more sub-tropical, temperate climate. The Northern Territory is known for beautiful landscapes of red desert, vast flood-planes, cavernous gorges, and aboriginal villages. South Australia boats beautiful beaches, wine regions, and the outback. Just as the weather differs depending on which state you are in, so do the marijuana laws. In South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis is decriminalized and punishable by a civil fine.
Even in the Australian states where marijuana possession is illegal, like New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the island region of Tasmania, it is unlikely that a person will be arrested for having only a personal amount because law enforcement in Australia make efforts to divert users into educational classes rather than jails. Plus, medical marijuana is expected to be legalized in Victoria soon, and many other Australian states, including the territory island of Tasmania, are currently organizing efforts to push for marijuana policy reform. In the not-so-distant future, the entire country of Australia may be a marijuana friendly tourist destination.
Beach destinations at the far south tip of Mexico are already popular tourist vacation destinations, but the huge country of Mexico has even more to offer than sun and sand. Mexico is home to many different activities to meet the needs of almost any traveler.
In Mexico, travelers may experience ancient Mayan ruins, world-class museums, hiking trails, caves and cenotes, adventure tours, and some of the best street food in the world. Marijuana tourists can experience all of this while, legally, possessing a small amount of cannabis for personal use. As of 2009, personal possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis is decriminalized throughout the country of Mexico. Many travelers have warned, however, that being caught with more than 5 grams can turn into a very ugly legal situation, so be sure to possess only up to the lawful limit.
Are Canadians Really Being Banned from Entering US for Having Tried Cannabis?
Consider this scenario: in Canada, people are allowed to use cannabis for medicinal purposes and in Washington state its recreational use is legal. However, at the discretion of border control, people trying to enter Washington who’ve been asked about and admitted to past marijuana use, are being denied entry. For some, indefinitely. Believe it or not, Canadians really are being banned from entering the US for having tried cannabis.
It’s The Law
According to INA: Act 212, border officials have the right to question people crossing the border from Canada into the US about past drug use. Grouping them in with drug users, prostitutes, officials known to have violated religious freedoms, and human drug traffickers, officials consider an answer of “yes” to past use of cannabis a violation of the law. It’s assumed that admission of past use implies it was done prior to laws legalizing cannabis. This in turn yields the implication that a law’s been broken. So Canadians who make the mistake of answering honestly, they join the club of the aforementioned crowd. Some even face being barred from the US for life, unless they want to pay $600 for a waiver that isn’t a quick fix and is only temporary.
Border Crossing Contradiction
It’s just a little more than confusing, trying to figure it out. If it’s legal to use cannabis in two different places (especially those that share a border), why does crossing over one side of the border lead to breaking the law?
Two men who’ve faced the border officials and regretfully answered “yes” to their question of past cannabis use can both pledge to knowing the consequences of the law. Alan Ranta, a thirty-something music journalist, and Matthew Harvey, a medical marijuana user, were both held at the border even though neither one of them had any cannabis in their possession. Just the admission of past use allowed border officials to deny them entry, with Harvey being barred for life from entering the US. He had no concerns over being honest about his use, as he had a medical marijuana card from Canada and was entering a state where it’s legal. Little did he know he’d spend six hours in detainment, being questioned by border officials. Ranta was detained as well with handcuffs and questioned. Neither one of them could have ever imagined a simple trip into the US would be so complicated.
A can of worms not yet opened is what would happen if Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were to attend a meeting in the US. Having been open with the public about his past marijuana use, there would be no way to deny it, if asked. However, because his admission wasn’t made in front of an immigration officer, it doesn’t necessarily count. The only harm posed is that with his past use being made public, officials could choose to question him. While this would create a very sticky situation, it’s highly unlikely that Trudeau, as Canadian Prime Minister, would face the issue when entering the US.
How To Get Around It
It’s important to note that not all border officials will ask this question. It’s up to their discretion. To avoid the issue, should it come up, people can just say no. There are ramifications for doing this, though, should someone be caught. This kind of misrepresentation can lead to being permanently barred. People with attorney’s are often advised not to lie and instead just not answer the question.
Another thing to consider is that the law only applies to use prior to cannabis being allowed for medicinal use. Cardholders should not be concerned as long as they have proof and don’t admit to using cannabis prior to the current laws.
With Canada aiming to legalize cannabis by 2018, officials truly hope a compromise between the two countries can be made to sort out the confusion. The current situation, if it continues, will only escalate and cause friction as Canadians using cannabis legally are denied entry to the US because of it.
North Korea’s views on cannabis are not well documented, mostly due to lack of access and the secretive nature of the country. It’s very difficult to gain entry into the Hermit Kingdom; and once inside, one must adhere to a long list of strict (and sometimes unusual) rules.
Surprisingly, the country has developed a reputation for tolerating cannabis consumption. Previous accounts of tourists who visited the isolated location helped paint a clear picture of the local cannabis scene. In 2012, an American consultant claimed to have witnessed citizens growing cannabis in small gardens, possibly for personal or medicinal use.
Perhaps the most interesting account comes from a Bulgarian writer (based in England), Darmon Richter, who went on a casual vacation to North Korea. He was able to roll up at a restaurant after a meal without intervention from his tour guide or local police. Richter was also able to buy a grocery bag full of cannabis for about 80 cents at a market. He has plenty of pictures to prove his claims, which are currently live on The Bohemian Blog.
There’s only one problem with the photos: the cannabis he purchased looked extremely dry and leafy, closely resembling industrial hemp. The resilient plant is known to contain very low amounts of THC and is often loosely referred to as cannabis.
This distinction matters because hemp is legal in North Korea, under a state sanction. According to Troy Collings, who oversees a travel agency that specializes in bringing foreigners into the Hermit Kingdom, it is possible to buy hemp as a cost-effective alternative to tobacco. This would explain why Richter was able to openly light up in public.
“I’ve seen and even purchased hemp, but it doesn’t contain any THC and is just sold as a cheap substitute for tobacco,” said Collings in an email. “It grows wild in the mountainous regions of the North and people pick it, dry it and sell it in the markets, but it doesn’t get you high no matter how much you smoke.”
It is important to consider that rolling your own cigarette in Asia is common practice. Compared to purchasing a pack of rolled cigarettes, buying the components separately and manually rolling your own is considered to be cheaper for habitual tobacco smokers.
Hemp is used by local businesses in the country to produce clothes, cooking oil and military uniforms. This explains why the herb was being sold in mass quantities at the market.
As for cannabis with high THC content that is widely used for recreational purposes, the plant is considered to be illegal in North Korea – according to Torkel Stiernlof, a Swedish diplomat living in the country.
“There should be no doubt that drugs, including marijuana, are illegal here,” explained Stiernlof during an interview with the Associated Press. “One can’t buy it legally and it would be a criminal offense to smoke it.”
This statement is more in line with the country’s conservative stance on international culture and strict practices related to preserving local traditions.
So there you have it. Like most Asian countries, North Korea still has a long way to go in renewing its outdated cannabis laws to suit the needs of local patients.