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Last updated: 7 months ago

Can You Bring Cannabis Through TSA and Onto a Plane?

You’ve made plans for a weekend getaway with friends. Can you bring cannabis along?

You’ve made plans for a weekend getaway with friends. Can you bring cannabis along?

The short answer is no.

Because cannabis is illegal at the Federal level, and air travel is regulated by Federal authorities, not local, TSA can hold you up for even small amounts of cannabis and CBD.

This applies to both departure and arrival cities, even if cannabis is legal in those states. This is true for medical cannabis as well, even if you possess a medical card.

There is an exception for products containing .3% or less of THC on a dry weight basis, or anything that has been approved by the FDA. These items are allowed in both carry-on and checked bags.

TSA does not specifically search for cannabis and other illegal drugs, but officers are ordered to report anything they find to law enforcement.

Then law enforcement decides what steps to take next, and whether the passenger can travel. If they are allowed to travel, the cannabis cannot go with them. Because of varying state laws, the state you are caught in can affect your outcome. In states where possession of small amounts has been decriminalized, you might get a fine or a civil citation.

In states where possession is illegal, you could be facing criminal charges.

There is also federal law to consider. Even if cannabis possession is legal in the state you are in, it is still illegal under federal law. You could face federal charges including fines and imprisonment.

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Some airports have begun using “cannabis amnesty boxes” so passengers can get rid of their cannabis before going through TSA.

Police in those cities in which cannabis is legal will then have no reason to arrest a passenger because they are complying with state law.

Even though TSA is a federal entity, you most likely won’t be arrested and will just have to throw out your cannabis.

With the Biden Administration and members of Congress hoping to legalize cannabis, this could all soon change. What these government officials are not considering is that allowing passengers to carry cannabis on flights could potentially lead to a range of adverse side-effects, including safety concerns, legal issues, and disruptions to travel.

These are the risks which could potentially happen

These are the risks which could potentially happen:

  1. Impaired judgment and behavior: Cannabis use can impair cognitive function, reaction time, and judgment. Passengers under the influence of cannabis may exhibit unpredictable or erratic behavior during a flight, potentially posing safety risks.
  2. Health risks: Cannabis can have different effects on people, and for some, it may lead to anxiety, paranoia, or other adverse mental health effects. On a crowded flight, this could exacerbate feelings of discomfort and stress.
  3. Cabin disturbances: Passengers who have used cannabis may be more likely to create disturbances or conflicts with other passengers or crew members, leading to an uncomfortable or even unsafe atmosphere on the plane.
  4. Security concerns: The presence of cannabis in flight could pose security concerns, as it may be challenging to differentiate between cannabis and other substances during security screenings.
  5. Legal implications: Depending on the jurisdiction, passengers may face legal consequences for possessing or using cannabis during a flight, even if it is legal in their departure and arrival locations.
  6. Medical concerns: Some passengers may use cannabis for medicinal purposes, but there could be concerns about the appropriateness of in-flight use and the effects of cannabis on preexisting medical conditions.
  7. Handling in-flight medical issues: If passengers experience adverse effects from cannabis during a flight, flight attendants may need to provide medical assistance, further complicating their responsibilities.
  8. Increased consumption: The availability of cannabis might encourage more people to consume it, which could result in more passengers using it, potentially impacting the flight experience for those who choose not to.

If you have chosen to consume cannabis before you fly, you should understand this could have legal consequences for you.

There are many policies in place to ensure the safety of all passengers

There are many policies in place to ensure the safety of all passengers.

  1. Airline policies: If a passenger is behaving disruptively, creating a disturbance, or posing a threat to the flight or other passengers due to intoxication or drug use, the airline may take actions like restraining the passenger, diverting the flight to remove the person, or reporting the incident to authorities.
  2. Federal aviation regulations: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has regulations in place to maintain the safety and security of air travel. Passengers who interfere with the flight crew’s duties, including due to intoxication or drug use, can be charged with federal offenses. Such charges may result in fines and imprisonment.
  3. Local laws: The legal consequences can also depend on the laws of the country or state to which the plane is flying or the country it is flying over. Some countries have strict drug laws, and even being intoxicated on a plane can lead to criminal charges upon arrival.
  4. Law enforcement: If a passenger’s behavior on a plane is disruptive or poses a safety risk, law enforcement officers may meet the plane upon arrival to assess the situation and potentially make an arrest. Intoxication from any substance, including drugs or alcohol, can be a factor in these situations.
  5. Consequences of being high: Depending on the substance, being high on a plane can impair judgment and lead to behavior which is disruptive or problematic. Passengers should be aware such behavior can result in legal consequences, as well as actions taken by the airline to ensure the safety and comfort of the flight.

Once again, as we look at the efforts underway to legalize and normalize marijuana use in America, we need to consider the bigger picture.

Weed is not harmless. As we are still early in the rush to legalization, appropriate research has not been done. Studies are just now coming to light—and they’re all very concerning. We’re already seeing cases of Cannabis Use Disorder and Cannabis-Induced Psychosis exploding across the country.

Somewhere in the very near future, we, as a society will wake up to the realization that we are reaping a bitter harvest of crisis for the billions-of-dollars being invested by the cannabis industry in pulling the wool over our eyes.

Get Help Today.

We are here to help you through every aspect of recovery.
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