In the span of just a few years, there has been a dramatic change in the views — and legality — regarding marijuana. Today more than two dozen states have medical marijuana available, while recreational marijuana has also been legalized in a number of states.
For those suffering from illness, medical marijuana can be a lifesaver. With evidence that it offers help with dozens of ailments, it shouldn’t be a surprise that more than 2 million people are medical marijuana patients.
If you are one of these patients, then you know that even if it might be legal to smoke (or eat) in your home, there are still plenty of laws regarding when and where you are allowed to use marijuana. In addition, there are still plenty of rules regarding possession — especially if you are traveling on vacation.
And if you’re planning a cruise, then you’re likely wondering if you can bring medical marijuana on your trip.
The answer is no. No marijuana — whether recreational or medical — is allowed to be brought on a cruise ship.
The reason why not goes back to the laws regarding marijuana on a state versus federal level. While many states have legalized the drug, it’s still illegal on the federal level.
Of course, that means the cruise lines have to make a decision. If they are sailing from a port in a state where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, do they follow the state law or the federal law?
Cruise lines opt to follow federal law.
Here’s what Carnival Cruise Lines says about marijuana on its ships:
Marijuana – We know some states passed legislation allowing the smoking of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. However, federal law supersedes state law and marijuana, whether for medical or recreational uses is still prohibited on our ships.
Norwegian Cruise Lines has a similar policy, and specifically mentioned medical marijuana:
No illegal drugs or other illegal substances including but not limited to medical marijuana are allowed onboard or may be utilized during a Norwegian Cruise Line vacatinon, including during transfers to and from ships, inside terminals, during shore excursions or at our private island.
In addition to the laws on the drug, cruise ships also have strict rules about onboard smoking, which put further pressure on trying to discreetly bring pot aboard. Ships are non-smoking, including in your cabin or balcony. Each ship does have designated smoking areas, but they are public places where lighting up marijuana would be frowned upon.
Can I Bring Medical Marijuana If I Have a Prescription?
Unfortunately, even if you bring your prescription, you still aren’t allowed to bring it onboard according to cruise line policy. That’s actually a good thing, believe it or not, because marijuana isn’t legal in nearly every foreign port.
In some Caribbean locales, the local police are known for entering staterooms when a cruise ship is in port looking for small amounts of drugs. This gives them an opportunity to raise fines from cruise passengers who aren’t aware of the local laws.
By simply leaving your marijuana at home, you can save yourself a whole lot of headache and worry about being afoul of foreign — and U.S. federal — laws.