Although marijuana has been finally taken out of the shadow of prohibition in Canada and the majority of American states, a tricky question of whether weed users are allowed to take their weed stash on a plane remains unanswered. This article will make you knowledgeable on this issue.
Marijuana.com has anonymously reached out to the legal representatives of international airports in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver and asked them to explain their policy on marijuana and say whether medical cannabis patients with prescriptions could pass security with their weed. The answers provided perfectly reflected all the complexity of cannabis regulations, underlying that it depends on your place of destination.
The San Francisco International Airport provided a complete and positive answer by confirming that medical cannabis patients can fly with marijuana. However, they should be ready for an extra check-in that usually lasts for 30-40 minutes and declare possession of weed at the security check. For passing the extra check-in, an airport police officer will ask a cannabis passenger to go to a separate room for documentation checking. If the documents are in order, the passenger will be free to go on board with their marijuana.
The Los Angeles International Airport gave a simple positive answer, saying that the airport will allow medical cannabis on a flight.
Denver has fully legalized marijuana use, but an officer at the Denver International Airport said that it is a federal airport that complies with federal regulations. The official clearly stated that even if you are a medical cannabis user, the federal government has not recognized medical marijuana yet, and, consequently, passengers are not allowed to fly with weed in Colorado.
In most cases, airport officials made a reference to the Transport Security Administration (TSA). When the inquirers contacted the organization, they were redirected to their website that describes screening procedures that are regulated exclusively by federal law. However, the stated procedures were established in 2012 and are quite outdated by now.
The TSA declares that screening officers do not specifically look for marijuana, but if they notice it, it will be considered breaking the law even if cannabis is legalized in that state. Until Congress removes cannabis from the Schedule I list, it is unlawful to bring marijuana to the federal property, including federal airports. Consequently, any attempts to transport cannabis may be punished with arrest and drug confiscation or disposal, especially in the states where cannabis remains illegal.
Canada will legalize recreational use of marijuana nationally next spring, but medical cannabis is widely consumed across the country now. Once weed is fully legalized, cannabis users will likely try to get cannabis on a plane.
However, it is too early to make any claims as the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority will change airport policy and security only after the legislation comes into force.
Currently, medical marijuana patients are allowed to fly with their cannabis provided that they have all the necessary documentation. The screening officers have no authority to check marijuana documents, thus they will ask the airport police to verify the legitimacy of the passenger's documentation.
In addition, you should keep in mind that the airport you fly from is only interested in ensuring their own security, so if you are traveling to a country where marijuana is still under prohibition, you may face difficulties. Perhaps, it would be better to leave your weed at home and order a new batch when you arrive at your hotel.