Can you bring weed on a plane? It’s complicated

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Can you bring weed on a plane? It’s complicated

Navigating the Legal and Practical Issues of Flying with Marijuana

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As marijuana is legalized in more and more states, the question of whether or not it’s legal to bring weed on a plane becomes increasingly relevant. However, while many states have legalized recreational and medical marijuana use, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, creating a complicated legal landscape for travelers looking to fly with pot. In this article, we’ll explore the legal and practical issues involved in flying with marijuana.

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The Legal Landscape

Conflicting State and Federal Laws

Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational use for adults 21 years and older, and 37 states and Washington, D.C., have medical marijuana programs. However, marijuana is still illegal under federal law, which makes possession and sale of marijuana illegal. Air travel is still under federal law, which means that passengers who bring marijuana on board a domestic U.S. flight are subject to an ever-changing patchwork of conflicting state and federal laws.

Schedule I Substance

Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance under federal law. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Schedule I substances have no accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse. That includes drugs like heroin and LSD. Even though airports are locally owned and operated, air travel still falls under federal law.

Personal Use vs. Intent to Sell

Most arrests involving flying with marijuana happen when passengers carry an amount that is more than what is considered personal use. Local law enforcement could alert the DEA if the quantity of marijuana exceeds personal use or if officers have reason to be suspicious that the traveler intends to sell marijuana.

Traveling with Marijuana

Can I fly with marijuana?

Technically, no. Under federal law, the possession and sale of marijuana is illegal. While it may be legal in some states, those state laws do not apply at the federal level.

Medical Marijuana

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said that medical marijuana products that “contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA” are permitted in both carry-on bags and checked bags. TSA agents wouldn’t likely ask to see a medical marijuana card unless the traveler was carrying a larger amount or was traveling through a jurisdiction where weed was entirely illegal, an agency spokesperson said.

Will TSA search me?

TSA said it is not actively searching for marijuana but rather focuses screening procedures on “potential threats to aviation and passengers” like weapons and explosives. If agents find marijuana in a passenger’s luggage, the TSA doesn’t have the power to arrest travelers. It can, however, call local police. Some local police officials told CNBC they would follow local laws in that situation.

What if the TSA finds marijuana on me?

If TSA finds an amount that exceeds local limits, which vary widely for both weed and THC-infused edibles, it will alert local officials. Some airports offer amnesty boxes for travelers to discard their pot before traveling.

Can I fly high?

Airlines’ contracts of carriage state that intoxicated travelers can’t fly. Airlines can refuse to allow a customer to get on the plane if, according to Delta’s rules, for example, “the passenger’s conduct is disorderly, abusive, or violent, or the passenger appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.”

Traveling Internationally

Marijuana rules vary across the world, but it is still banned outright in many countries. Even smaller amounts could carry hefty fines or more severe punishments.

Conclusion, Can you take weed on a plane?

Medical marijuana with a low THC content is permitted in both carry-on bags and checked bags, but travelers should be aware of the legal landscape and potential consequences of traveling with marijuana. It’s always best to do research and comply with local laws and regulations when it comes to traveling with any substance. As laws and regulations around marijuana continue to evolve, it’s important for travelers to stay informed and understand the potential risks involved with flying with pot.

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