Marijuana is gradually legalized in many US states for recreational or medical purposes. With bans being lifted, an increasing number of people can enjoy the benefits of weed freely and without the fear of persecution. However, traveling with marijuana is still tricky and may get you into trouble. Learn eight key facts about flying with weed to make your journeys fuss-free.
Fact 1: Federal Laws Prohibit Flying with Weed
In the USA, everything that happens on airplanes is regulated by federal laws. According to US federal laws, flying with marijuana is generally prohibited. Only two types of cannabis-containing products can be taken on board:
- Cannabis products with less than 0.3% THC;
- FDA-approved medications containing cannabis.
So, it is completely safe to travel with zero-THC CBD edibles or prescription drugs containing cannabis. They do not make you high or alter your consciousness to the point that you become dangerous to other passengers, so authorities don’t care about these products unless you stick to the rules. If you have prescribed drugs, don’t forget to take your prescription and medical marijuana card, just in case, but what happens if you get arrested at the airport?
Fact 2: Restrictions Apply to Individual PilotsIf you are one of those lucky people with a pilot license and their own aircraft (or at least the rented one), you also cannot transport weed. It may be tempting to load the aircraft with cannabis and take it wherever you go. However, this violation of law may cost you your pilot certificate and lead to severe penalties, as per existing Federal Aviation Administration regulations. So, weed treats on your board are definitely not worth the risk, even such gorgeous cannabis types as the Peanut Butter Breath strain.
Fact 3: State Laws Do Not Apply
A common mistake that weed lovers make is to think that it is allowed to take marijuana from one state where cannabis is legal to another state that has legalized it. Keep in mind that state laws don’t apply to air transportation (see Fact 1). It’s much easier to purchase the weed at your destination point rather than risk being reported to law enforcement.
Fact 4: You Can Through Away Your Weed at the Airport
If you realize that you have some marijuana with you only after you enter the airport, do not worry! You can throw it in the trash and proceed to the TSA screening stations. Some states, such as Chicago and Las Vegan, even have cannabis amnesty boxes for this purpose. It’s also possible to flash the weed in the toilet, especially if you have a small dose. However, the best option would be to return to your car and leave cannabis in a secure compartment.
Fact 5: TSA Officers Do Not Search for Marijuana Transport Security Administration (TSA) officers do not have the time or resources to search every purse and luggage. They mostly focus on heavy drugs and other security threats, so they will likely not notice your joint or a pack of CBD edibles. However, TSA warned that they would have to report the case to local law enforcement if they do come across weed during a standard check. Even if you carry medical marijuana, you will lose time proving to law enforcement officers that you have the right to possess it. Since nobody wants so much stress and worry, it’s best to follow the rules and leave your weed at home.
Fact 6: Airports May Have Their Own Policies
As if the existing regulations and not confusing enough, individual airports may also have their policies regarding cannabis. For example, they can regulate the amount of weed they allow to possess. It means that you can enter the airport building having a specific amount of cannabis, but you are still not allowed to take it on board. We recommend studying the airports’ websites for more information.
Do Not Cross International Borders with Weed
In most countries, entering or leaving the country with cannabis is illegal, and you could face serious criminal penalties for breaking the law. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Prison sentence;
- Entry denial;
- Entry restrictions in the future.
No matter how great your cannabis is, it is never worth these problems. So, educate yourself about the laws to make an informed decision.
Fact 8: Designated Airport Smoking Areas Prohibit Marijuana
Even if marijuana is legal in a specific location, and the airport allows you to possess a certain amount of weed, you still cannot smoke it on the premises. Designated airport smoking areas are designed for tobacco smokers only. Similarly, don’t try to smoke or consume cannabis edibles on the plane. Wait until you land to enjoy your favorite treat without repercussions.
Although the existing marijuana rules for airports and airplanes are confusing, one thing is straightforward: you cannot fly with most cannabis products or consume them on board. It’s always reasonable to leave your weed at home to avoid problems with TSA and law enforcement. If you are still determined to travel with cannabis-containing products, study all laws and regulations to avoid serious problems.