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Cannabis Accessibility in Places Where it’s Prohibited

January 9, 2020 12:46 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
Cannabis Accessibility in Places Where it’s Prohibited

Is it possible to access cannabis in states where it is still illegal?

Before we get going with this one, it must be made known that we in no way condone nor wish to promote illegal activities, or such that may bring harm or legal consequences. With that being said, let’s dive in.

Illicit Purchases

The most common way to obtain cannabis for those in states where cannabis is illegal is to get it off of the illegal market. This may be from one’s known and trusted dealer, a friend of a friend, or some related avenue of this sort. However, there are risks involved in this process that could put you in major legal trouble, so make sure you explore other avenues before seeking out cannabis from the underground.

Medical Relocation

‘Medical Refugee’ is becoming a common term in the cannabis world, and if you live in a state where medical cannabis is not yet legal or available you might want to consider relocating if it is at all possible. Many individuals who seek out treatment go to a state where cannabis is legal. Here, they can live, work, and in short order qualify for a medical marijuana card. Once the card is obtained, the medical refugee may begin their personalized treatment with cannabis. Of course, this treatment option is time-consuming and, for many, expensive. But it is a valid option if the need for cannabis treatment exceeds the discomforts of moving to a new state.


Cannabis tourism is also common. If your treatment is short term, consider taking a trip to a legal state. Here you may legally dose without the fear of the law being broken. This includes both recreational users and medical users. Cannabis tourism is growing in popularity among the fully legalized states, such as Colorado, Washington, and Maine.

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Canna-tourism is popular because it does not require one to move nor hold a card to obtain recreational cannabis. However, if your intent is solely for medical treatment, you must do your own research. It’s also best advised to consult with a doctor before doing any sort of self-medication—even with cannabis. There are always risks with any sort of self-medicating.

Secondhand Sources

For many, the option to buy from a trusted source who obtains cannabis and cannabis products from a legal state and then transports them back to their home state for sale is an option. This involves more research, trust, and time because you must know for a fact that the person you are buying from gets their product from a legal source. This is still in the illegal category of options, but worth mentioning nonetheless.

For this to work, as mentioned, trust is paramount. You must weigh your options versus the potential consequences. This could range from slaps on the wrist to absolute legal disasters, depending on the framing. Regardless, this option is one of the better ways to obtain trusted, good cannabis without having to put yourself at such high risk. But there still is always a risk, so keep this in mind, and don’t do anything that you think will bring harm to you or anyone else.

A Failure of Justice

No matter how you choose to obtain cannabis for medical purposes, it’s key to keep in mind that the true failure is drug policy in the United States. Criminalizing the use of medical cannabis does more harm than good. Too many individuals are burdened with high fines or jail time because they choose to medicate in a natural, alternative way instead of paying into the raging pharmaceutical industry that at times seems to have the nation in a chokehold.

True change will come about over time as legislation shifts toward compassion, understanding, and support, but until then one must consider all options available with what’s already given. To help make a change, consider writing to your Congressmen, calling your mayors, educating yourself and others, and being open to civilized discussion and debate. Empathy is more important now than ever, especially considering the ultra-charged political climate that is boiling in the United States. Divisions are high, but there is no reason that cannabis should divide anyone further.

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