flying with marijuana cannabis
flying with marijuana cannabis

Flying With Cannabis: 5 Facts You Should Know

Flying with Marijuana is Okay if you Know the Rules

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Monday Jun 25, 2018

Flying With Cannabis: 5 Facts You Should Know

Can You Fly With Your Weed Stash? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


Access to cannabis helps make the lives of patients easier. It can treat a myriad of conditions from cancer to chronic pain and Alzheimer’s.


And it will continue to make life easier, as long as you live in one of the 29 states with MMJ regulations – and stay there. Now, if you want to travel to other states, the rules surrounding traveling with cannabis still lie in a gray area. There are still 21 other states where cannabis use is illegal despite having a prescription from a doctor. To make matters worse, cannabis is federal illegal because it is still a Schedule 1 substance.


When you travel by plane with weed and go to an airport, security checkpoints are considered federal territory. That’s because the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)’s screening procedures are defined by federal law. And the TSA says that cannabis is a prohibited item, as well as other cannabis-infused products including CBD oil.


But again, traveling with cannabis remains a gray area. People have successfully traveled with pot and other cannabis items in their luggage and have gotten away with it. Yet, that doesn’t mean that it’s legal to do so. Whenever you go through a federal check point, you are still going to be subject to a search, seizure, and possible prosecution.


Here are 5 facts you need to keep in mind especially if you had plans of traveling with your stash this summer:


The TSA won’t arrest you, but they’ll report the case to the local police who are assigned to the airport you’re in. The TSA website says, “TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”


State troopers will then decide if you are legally allowed, according to state law, to possess cannabis. If to them you aren’t committing a crime, then they will let you go. In some cases, they may ask you to dispose your pot before you go through security, and in other cases they won’t. And if you make it through security, most airlines won’t allow passengers to bring cannabis on flights, such as . If you’re traveling to a state where medical cannabis isn’t legal, you will be subject to prosecution if the local cops find your weed.


Even if the TSA is around, commercial airports are still not federal property. States or cities own airports, but all airports ban smoking any substance outside designated areas. So don’t even think about smoking pot in the airport, because public consumption is illegal. This applies even to cannabis-friendly towns and airports, like the Denver International Airport, where carrying and possession of pot is both prohibited. If you are thought to be stoned, you can be turned away. According to CNBC: “Before travelers consider giving new meaning to ‘red-eye’ flight, note that airlines reserve the right to turn passengers away if they appear intoxicated, just as they do if they are acting violently, yelling, or appear ill.”


While yes, it’s possible to eat an edible or smoke a mild strain before you arrive at the airport, use your judgment call to make sure you will not look like you’re under the influence upon arrival at check-in or the departure gate.


The likelihood that the TSA discovers cannabis in your luggage will largely depend on the form you’re bringing it in. Raw cannabis, such as a stash of bud or flowers alone or in joints, is the most obvious form of possession. However, there are a number of more discreet cannabis products these days such as vape pens that have no odor or smoke. Edible products also aren’t obvious – a screening officer wouldn’t be able to tell if it’s made with pot, or if your grandma made them. It still isn’t advisable.


How much you’re carrying will have a weight on the consequences – or lack thereof. According to Michael Gordon, co-founder and CEO of Kush Tourism: “If you’re carrying enough that it looks like you’re distributing, TSA will pass it on to local authorities. If you have less than an ounce of pot, they won’t even bother you. That seems to be the rule of thumb,” he told Travel Weekly. However, even if you do follow that rule of thumb, it still comes with its own repercussions because there is no such thing as a guarantee.


Read up on the states you’re traveling to and from, because in states where cannabis is legal, airports are only now developing rules and policies. For example, Denver airport authorities will ask you to dispose your cannabis no matter where you’re headed. If you’re going to fly from San Francisco, they’ll let you go if you are caught with an ounce. But if you have an MMJ card, 8 ounces is permitted. If you are flying to and from another point in Oregon, passengers are allowed to board with a specific amount on hand.


And even if it’s your right to use cannabis, traveling is a whole new ballgame. Thousands of people travel with pot every day, even if it’s illegal, so it’s up to you to determine your tolerance for the risk you’re placing yourself in. Last but not least: the consequences will be significantly greater if you’re traveling internationally, so don’t even go there.

Flying With Marijuana - 5 Facts You Should Know from CannabisNet on Vimeo.



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