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Touring has at all times include problems. Our By The Method Concierge column will take your journey dilemmas to the consultants that will help you navigate the brand new regular. Wish to see your query answered? Submit it here.

As marijuana turns into authorized in additional states, we needed to handle a query many vacationers have: Are you able to convey weed by means of airport safety?

You’re flying from a state the place marijuana is legal to a state the place marijuana is authorized. You suppose meaning you’re within the clear, however you’d be wrong. Irrespective of your departure and arrival locations, it’s nonetheless unlawful to fly with marijuana.

That’s as a result of marijuana possession nonetheless remains illegal under federal law, and while you fly, federal businesses are in cost.

6 questions about flying with marijuana, answered

The Transportation Safety Administration is accountable for security whereas the Federal Aviation Administration controls the airways. Then, in the event you’re getting into the nation from overseas, there’s Customs and Border Safety.

They implement federal legal guidelines, and “on the federal stage it stays criminal to own any quantity of hashish even for medical functions,” says Brett Schuman, a accomplice at Goodwin regulation agency and co-chair of its hashish apply. (There’s a caveat: Hashish is legal if it incorporates not more than 0.3 p.c THC on a dry weight foundation.)

So it’s unlawful to convey marijuana from joints to ediblesby means of airport safety, fly with it or undergo customs and immigration with it in your checked or carry-on bag, even if you’re flying between two locations the place it’s authorized.

Nonetheless, that doesn’t imply you’re going to federal jail if TSA finds weed in your bag.

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“TSA has been clear that its focus is on safety for us, the passengers, and never medicine,” says Shawn Hauser, a accomplice on the nationwide hashish regulation agency Vicente Sederberg LLP and co-chair of the agency’s hemp and cannabinoids division.

I’ve spoken to TSA a number of occasions on the subject, and their policy is simple: “TSA will not be trying to find marijuana or different medicine,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein mentioned in an electronic mail. “And have in mind, the TSA canines are educated to detect explosive odors, not medicine.”

If TSA officers discover marijuana or different medicine throughout a routine screening course of, they’re purported to notify native regulation enforcement, who makes the ultimate name.

That last name can fluctuate. For those who’re in a state the place marijuana is legal, native regulation enforcement isn’t seemingly to reply to airport calls in the event that they discover it. And in the event that they do, Hauser says they wouldn’t arrest somebody who’s in compliance with state regulation (for instance, authorities at LAX can’t arrest you for having some hashish if it’s inside the authorized quantity California permits.)

TSA might solely confiscate marijuana, let you know to throw it away or “they might ask you to place it in an amnesty box and even take it to your automotive,” Hauser says. Some airports prohibit marijuana possession on their property and may fine passengers caught breaking their rule.

Then once more, “this isn’t written down wherever, however particular person TSA officers might train discretion to not report you in any respect,” Schuman says.

You’ll be able to run into extra vital penalties in the event you’re carrying larger amounts of weed or touring by means of a state that continues to be staunchly anti-cannabis like Idaho, Nebraska or Texas, Schuman says.

No, you can’t fly high or drunk

In anti-pot states, it’s typically different authorities — not TSA — that discover marijuana and cost vacationers.

CBP has been identified to find marijuana in passenger’s baggage, typically with the assistance of drug detecting K-9s, which can lead to fines, criminal charges or shedding your Global Entry membership.

There are additionally excessive circumstances of authorities discovering vacationers carrying massive quantities of weed. In Arkansas, detectives and their drug-detecting canines discovered 180 pounds of marijuana in a lawyer’s baggage on the Little Rock airport final yr.

That very same month in Tennessee — a state that’s “adamantly against” hashish — a drug canine employed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and native detectives discovered 12 baggage of marijuana in baggage on the Memphis airport, resulting in the detainment of the bag’s proprietor, a search warrant for his home, and, later, legal costs, FOX13 Memphis reported. In December, two Spirit Airways vacationers in Nashville had been booked into the Metro jail and charged with felony drug possession after a Okay-9 unit discovered 18 pounds of marijuana of their baggage on the airport.

It’s “fairly uncommon” to see on a regular basis vacationers face authorized penalties for small quantities, Hauser says, regardless of having a consumer detained at an airport in a state the place weed is illegitimate, who then went by means of “a easy courtroom continuing that was rapidly resolved.”

Schuman concurs. He’s not conscious of the “common Jane or common Joe touring by means of an airport with a pre-roll or bundle of gummies” who has spent any time in jail.

However despite the fact that TSA isn’t searching for your pot, “the highest line reply needs to be: This stays federally unlawful,” Schuman mentioned,

Have a journey dilemma for By The Method Concierge? Send it to us here.



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