Today is the busiest travel day of the year with millions flying or driving to visit friends and family over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. And while most people are not thinking that they may need the services of a criminal defense attorney, there are a few things to keep in mind.
One, because it is a long weekend, people may engage in greater consumption of alcoholic beverages and then drive impaired. Most states law enforcement is in a heightened state of readiness, looking for impaired drivers.
However, the second concern is something that many may not consider, and that is the use of marijuana, whether for recreational or medical purposes, could cause problems with your Thanksgiving Day travel.
In Iowa, marijuana has not been legalized nor decriminalized. This means you can still be arrested for drug possession if you are found with marijuana.
If you live in Colorado or Washington, and travel back to Iowa, you should remember that you could be facing drug charges if you have an accident and police discover marijuana on your person on in your vehicle, even if you were not using at the time of the accident. In addition, transporting marijuana across state lines is illegal.
And if you travel by air, you could face federal drug charges. While some states have legalized marijuana, it is still a schedule 1 drug, and while the TSA does not jurisdiction to enforce federal drug laws, if they were to discover marijuana during a search, they could turn the drug over to other law enforcement, which would have authority to arrest.
If you use medical marijuana and you travel with it, you should carry all documentation authorizing its use and remember that even with that, its presence and use in Iowa could result in criminal charges.
Boingboing.com, "Is it legal to fly with marijuana?" Caroline Siede, November 25, 2014