Eli Orzessek finds the answers to your travel questions.
In October I'm taking a trip to the US and my first stop will be in Los Angeles. Since cannabis has been legalised in California, I thought I would try some out while I'm there.
Are there any legal issues I should be aware of as an international tourist?
Adult recreational use of marijuana became legal in California on January 1 this year.
Medical marijuana dispensaries have been legal in the state for the past two decades, but now have to receive new permits to keep operating — and many haven't arrived yet.
Though everything seems all legal and free, there are still some potentially serious consequences for foreigners. Marijuana is still illegal at a federal level and the San Diego Tribune has reported that it doesn't take a conviction to get in trouble as a non-citizen.
If a port official at the airport finds a non-US citizen on a visa has used the drug, you could potentially be banned from the country for life. If they were to find a receipt from a dispensary, photos from one of the popular cannabis yoga retreats or anything else that suggests you've "indulged", that could be it.
"One of the grounds for inadmissibility is whether you are a drug abuser or drug addict," immigration attorney Andrew Nietor told the Tribune. "That is interpreted fairly conservatively. Any admission of prior drug use will often lead to a presumption that the person has a controlled substance problem."
Even if you're travelling between two states where marijuana use is legal — California to Colorado, say — don't take anything with you on the plane. They actually have amnesty bins at Denver Airport to show they're serious.
With all that in mind, if you still feel like partaking, perhaps avoid posting a picture on Instagram.
What's the deal with embassies of your home in other countries — what can they help you with if you find yourself in some kind of emergency or crisis?
Embassies can help you in several ways — such as providing advice if you lose your passport, or helping to contact family and friends if you need emergency funds. If an international crisis or natural disaster occurs, they account for New Zealanders who may have been affected.
If you are injured or fall ill, the embassy can provide advice on local medical facilities and help contact your family or insurance provider. If a death occurs overseas, they can help with arrangements.
Of course, if you commit a crime in another country, there's only so much they can do and local laws must be respected. However, they can provide a list of English-speaking lawyers, and contact friends and family on your behalf if you are detained or arrested.
When you're going overseas, it's always a good idea to take note of where the New Zealand embassy is located — I usually mark it out on Google Maps on my phone just in case.
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Eli cannot answer all questions and can't correspond with readers.