Blunts on Boats: Can You Consume Weed on Watercraft?

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With summer weather right around the corner, many people are currently looking forward to spending some time out on the water. Whether you live in the Midwest and intend to go out on a lake or live on coast and will be boating on the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean, you may want to take some of your legal weed with you.

However, just because cannabis is legal for you as an adult in your state or as a registered medical cannabis patient doesn’t mean there aren’t risks to bringing your bud on a boat.

First of all, although cannabis use doesn’t always significantly impair someone’s driving ability, cannabis combined with alcohol or other substances can. Also, never underestimate how dehydration from sun exposure can exacerbate driving problems related to recreational substance use.

Boating while under the influence of cannabis could be a quick ticket to an arrest. Just like it is illegal to drive a speedboat while drunk, you also can’t operate a boat while under the influence of any other substance.

In fact, depending on where you are boating, it may not be legal for you to even have cannabis on your boat at all. For residents in states with legal adult access, boating on lakes and rivers with a legal amount of cannabis in your possession likely won’t result in an arrest if you get stopped while boating. However, if you are in a state that doesn’t have legal access for adults or if you are on the ocean or waterways that empty into the ocean, your boat is likely under federal jurisdiction.

Because the federal government still believes that cannabis is a Schedule I substance, you are subject to arrest and even federal criminal charges if you get caught with cannabis on a boat on federal waters, even if you are off the coast of California at the time. In fact, people in Michigan or Canada, where cannabis is legal for adults, can also face federal prosecution if they get stopped by Coast Guard officials while boating on the Great Lakes or any waterways that connect to the Great Lakes with cannabis on their boat.

Until the federal government adjusts its policy on cannabis, most people will likely find that it is better to err on the side of caution when it comes to enjoying time out on the waves with weed.

For previous Ladybud articles about summer topics, click here.