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Canadian winter visitors should brush up on Arizona’s marijuana laws

PHOENIX — Currently, nine U.S. states allow the recreational use of marijuana, including Arizona neighbors California, Nevada and Colorado.

Another 13 states have decriminalized the use of cannabis, meaning possession offenses usually result in fines, not jail time.

On Wednesday, Canada became the largest country in the world to legalize it.

However, the winter visitors who flock to Arizona need to know the laws are different here.

Recreational use isn’t allowed in Arizona, but in 2010 voters approved a proposition making marijuana legal for patients with medical cards.

“Snowbirds here to Arizona need to be aware of the fact that Arizona doesn’t allow recreational marijuana and they may need a medical card here to consume the cannabis,” KTAR News legal analyst Monica Lindstrom said.

Lindstrom said most states along the Canadian border have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

“Just because you live in Canada and it is legal there, doesn’t mean that it is legal everywhere, including in the sky, and you need to be mindful of the laws of the places you’re going to, “Lindstrom said.

Lindstrom said people need to be aware if carrying legally purchased marijuana when flying from Canada to the U.S.

“Commercial airports are technically federal jurisdiction, but the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) itself has said it’s not in the business to search for marijuana,” she said.

“And if they find it, then they might refer it to law enforcement.”

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