Can I travel with cannabis?

If you are flying to your destination, it is important to note that policies vary depending on the states you’re flying in and out of. Keep this in mind: Air travel is federally regulated by the FAA and the agency is crystal clear that cannabis is not permitted on board any aircraft. So the best advice is to leave it at home as it’s the safest way to avoid issues while flying. If you choose to fly with cannabis, there are a few things to remember.

The TSA is focused on catching passengers with explosives or weapons. The TSA security officers are not in the business of looking for weed. According to TSA:

“TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs. In the event a substance that appears to be marijuana is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer. Whether or not marijuana is considered legal under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law. Federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.”

Based on that statement, if you get caught trying to bring cannabis with you on your flight, you won’t deal with the federal government, you will deal with local authorities. If you live in states that have strict marijuana laws, such as Indiana, Ohio, or Missouri, expect some issues and possibly an arrest.

Some airports, such as LAX, are more lenient. The L.A. police officers patrolling LAX follow state laws, and in California it is legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Adversely, at Denver International Airport, it is illegal to possess marijuana on airport property, even though Colorado is a legal state. If you  are caught with marijuana, you will be asked to place your weed in one of the “amnesty boxes” before getting on the plane.

If you insist on flying with cannabis, just be careful and use common sense, ie: bring a small amount, be honest if asked, and research State laws before flying.

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