Colorado is a reasonable distance from Texas. If you want to escape the heat or see some incredibly beautiful scenery, heading to Colorado for your vacation makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, some of the experiences you might enjoy during a Colorado vacation or a trip to other nearby states, including California and Nevada, could put you at risk of legal issues here in Texas.
Certain drugs, including marijuana and also salvia, are legal in other states but not here in Texas. However, you have to finish what you buy while you are on vacation. Trying to bring back some marijuana for yourself or some cannabis souvenir for your friends could possibly lead to state or federal charges.
You absolutely cannot transport drugs across state lines
While the possession of marijuana is legal in Colorado, it is a criminal offense both in Oklahoma and Texas. You would violate state laws by bringing the previously legal weed into a state with laws against the substance. The same is true of a trip to New Mexico where you buy some salvia divinorum.
However, more importantly than that, you violate federal law when you go from one state to another while in possession of a banned substance. Interstate transportation of a drug is trafficking. Bringing your own marijuana back to Texas is illegal.
The same is true of trying to sell a drug legally bought in another state to your co-workers or neighbors to defray the costs of your vacation or giving it away as souvenirs. While federal prosecution for trafficking has recently seen a drop in marijuana enforcement, that doesn’t mean prosecutors won’t go after someone clearly in violation of federal laws.
Text messages, emails and social media posts could even lead to conspiracy charges
When you decided where you planned to travel, you may have talked about bringing back certain “legal” souvenirs for friends or even co-workers.
If prosecutors discover some kind of digital trail discussing your intention to bring ban substances back from a trip to another state, those digital messages could give them grounds to suspect you of intentional trafficking and intent to distribute, not just the mistake of bringing something illegal across state lines.
Understanding when a drug charge changes from a Texas state offense to a federal charge can help you avoid minor mistakes that could have life-altering consequences.