With many states and some countries relaxing their laws about marijuana use, you might be wondering if you can bring weed with you on your next cruise.
Can You Bring Weed on a Cruise Ship in the U.S.?
So far, 23 states have legalized weed, including California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Alaska. These states all have port cities where international cruises dock. Cruises from the U.S., however, adhere to federal law, which prohibits weed. Federal law supersedes any state law. Therefore, all cruise lines prohibit bringing any kind of marijuana product onboard.
This means that bringing weed across state lines or into international waters from the U.S. is against federal law. Getting caught with weed on a cruise can get you in some serious trouble.
Can You Bring Weed on a Cruise to a Destination Where It’s Legal?
But what about in countries where weed is legal? In Canada, Uruguay, South Africa, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain, Belize, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic, it’s perfectly legal to light up in public or in designated smoking areas like cafes. So can you bring weed on a cruise if you’re sailing to a destination where it’s legal?
Unfortunately, no. It is illegal to bring weed on a cruise no matter where you’re coming from or where you’re going. Can you bring weed on a cruise if you have a medical card? The answer is still no. It’s illegal even if you have a medical marijuana card. This includes all forms of weed, such as edibles or vape pens.
And unlike sneaking alcohol onto a cruise, which usually only results in having it confiscated but can get you kicked off your cruise, getting caught with weed can have dire consequences.
What Happens If You Get Caught Sneaking Weed on a Cruise?
When you board your cruise, your bags will go through an inspection to check for weapons and illegal substances. While you might think it’s easy enough to smuggle a small amount of weed through an X-ray scanner, your bag could also be subjected to a second, more thorough inspection.
At some ports, passengers are searched as well. Drug-sniffing dogs are often used to conduct searches, and they will easily sniff out weed on you or in your bag. So, not only would trying to sneak weed on a cruise be risky, it likely won’t work.
Even if you do manage to get it onboard, and even if your cruise has designated smoking areas, you’re going to have a hard time hiding the smell of weed if you decide to light up. Room searches onboard cruises are rare, but the contract you sign when purchasing your ticket states that crew members have the right to search your room if they suspect that you are violating cruise rules and laws.
If you sneak weed onto the cruise and smoke it, or if they have any reason to suspect that you might have weed onboard, they can and will search your room. If you’re caught, they will confiscate your weed and throw you off the ship. Also, you could be banned from taking other cruises in the future. Cruise operators might even call the local authorities.
If you’re a U.S. citizen and get caught with weed in U.S. waters, you face a hefty fine and possible jail time, even in states where weed is legal (since you’re now transporting it).
Consequences can be even more serious if you get caught with weed in a foreign country where it is illegal. You might face an international drug trafficking charge. Yes, even for a small amount. Some cruise passengers have been threatened with jail time in The Bahamas after getting caught with as little as 5 grams of weed.
Alternatives to Bringing Weed on a Cruise
The bottom line is no, you can’t bring weed on a cruise. And while it might be more possible to sneak edibles or vape cartridges onboard instead, given the risk of fines or jail time, it certainly doesn’t seem worth the trouble.
However, once you’ve docked in a country where weed is legal, you’re free to head to the nearest dispensary or cafe and spend the whole day there if you wish. Cruises won’t prohibit you from reboarding if you show up high, as long as you’re not causing any kind of disturbance.
Another option is to look for 420 cruises, a relatively new concept that sails exclusively to destinations where weed is legal. Seattle to Alaska is a popular route that also makes stops along the coast of British Columbia, Canada, where weed can be purchased legally from local dispensaries and enjoyed in public, as long as it’s in a designated smoking area.
However, you still can’t smoke weed on board these cruises, or have any in your possession while sailing from one stop to another.
He is an expert travel advisor and enthusiast. He has traveled extensively in the USA, Central American, South America and Europe. He has visited every Sandals Resort and is one of a select few Diamond Elite members of the Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club.
Dan graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. Later he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus on people and culture.