Can you drive with legal weed from WA across state lines to Idaho? Here’s the law on that

Richard Vogel/Associated Press file

While recreational marijuana use is legal in Washington state, traveling with THC products can be tricky. It’s crucial to know the laws in place at your destination before you leave.

In total, 21 states across the U.S. have legalized recreational marijuana, and 37 states have allowed medical use. Neighboring Idaho is one of just four states yet to even decriminalize marijuana, along with Wyoming, Kansas and South Carolina.

If you buy marijuana products in Washington before traveling to another weed-friendly state, what happens if you have to go through Idaho? Or what if your destination is Idaho? What could you be charged with if you get pulled over while driving with pot in Idaho that was legally purchased in Washington?

Here’s everything you should know before you go:

Washington state marijuana laws

Recreational and medical marijuana are both legal in Washington state. Medical marijuana was legalized in 1998, recreational in 2012. Limits are in place for how much product one person can possess, as defined by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.


It is possible to face possession charges for marijuana in Washington, if you buy or possess more than the legal limit.

  • Between 28 grams and 40 grams — Misdemeanor with up to 90 days incarcerated and a $1,000 fine.

  • More than 40 grams — Felony with a fine of $10,000 and up to five years incarcerated.

  • Double fines and incarceration times are in place for possession within 1,000 feet of a school, public park or public transportation.

You can’t consume marijuana in public or be under the influence of marijuana while driving in Washington state.

Idaho marijuana laws

The possession, growing, selling, distribution and use of recreational marijuana are illegal in Idaho. State law is tough on marijuana offenses. Fines can run in the thousands, plus years in jail.

Here’s how the penalties shake out for manufacturing, transporting and possessing marijuana in Idaho:

  • Less than 3 ounces for personal use — Misdemeanor with a minimum fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year incarcerated.

  • 3 ounces to 1 pound for personal use — Felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to five years incarcerated.

  • 5-25 pounds or 50-100 marijuana plants — Felony with a minimum fine of $10,000 and at least three years incarcerated.

  • More than 25 pounds or more than 100 marijuana plants — Felony with a minimum fine of $15,000 and at least five years incarcerated.

The maximum number of years of imprisonment for possessing marijuana in Idaho is 15 years and a maximum fine of $50,000.

Crossing state lines into Idaho

Idaho law is pretty straightforward: It is illegal to possess marijuana in the state, regardless of where it was purchased.

If you purchased marijuana while in Washington state and then traveled to Idaho with it, you have broken the law. It doesn’t matter if the marijuana was purchased legally. As soon as it crosses Idaho state lines, it’s considered contraband.

It’s not only a marijuana possession charge you’ll have to worry about, too. You could be charged with drug trafficking if caught, which is a federal crime, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

This is the case regardless of your destination. Even if you’re headed to Montana, or any other weed-friendly state, getting pulled over with marijuana in Idaho while en route could lead to possession and trafficking charges.

When weed flies

The Transportation Security Administration is not looking for drugs when they screen fliers, but if they find marijuana or other drugs, they will refer the matter to law enforcement. This is because flights fall under federal jurisdiction and marijuana is still federally illegal.

TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security to detect potential threats to aircraft and passengers. When TSA officers are screening for weapons or other harmful items and find an illegal substance, it will be reported to local law enforcement, according to the TSA.

Simply put, you are not supposed to fly with marijuana.

Can I consume marijuana, then travel to Idaho?

Yes, but only if you’re not driving and don’t have any marijuana in your possession.

Under Idaho Code Title 18 Chapter 80, driving while intoxicated is not only limited to alcohol but drugs as well. A first-time driving under the influence charge is a misdemeanor in Idaho and could carry a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail and a driver’s license suspension of up to 180 days.

A third-time offender within a 10-year span will be charged with a felony, a maximum fine of $5,000, up to five years in jail and a driver’s license suspension of up to five years following release from prison.