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What You Need To Know About Traveling With Marijuana

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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When it comes to the legality of traveling through U.S. airports with the possession of cannabis in any form, the law is pretty clear: it’s illegal. All U.S. airports and commercial aircraft fall under federal jurisdiction. However, the reality of the situation is not so black and white.

As of January 2018, California passed Proposition 64, stating that “the Los Angeles Airport Police Department will allow passengers to travel through LAX with up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana.” Los Angeles International Airport states the details of this policy on their website, which essentially bypasses federal laws.

Since the TSA’s main concern is terrorism and security threats, they aren’t necessarily looking for marijuana, that’s the job of local law enforcement and federal drug agents.

Lieutenant Mark Gonzales, airport police services bureau chief with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department tells USA Today, “If the TSA calls us [about finding marijuana], we’d go up and make sure it is within the legal quantity. If it is, we’d just stand by while the passenger decides what to do with it.” 

Similarly, Boston Logan International Airport also has a lenient stance on the matter. The Boston Globe states, “possessing an ounce or less is legal in Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Port Authority, which owns and operates Logan International Airport, doesn’t have any policy prohibiting it.”

If marijuana is found by a TSA agent at Boston Logan International Airport, they may call on the Massachusetts State Police to handle the matter. However, as long as you are 21 or older and your stash is under the state limit, they’ll probably let you go in peace.

Recreational marijuana has now been legalized in 10 states. And though some of these states may be more lenient about air travel, it’s important to know that the feds still consider it illegal. It’s important to also note that it is illegal to cross international borders with any amount of marijuana.

Bottom line is, it’s a bit of a tangled web with hazy rules that greatly vary from airport to airport. If you are considering traveling with cannabis or cannabis-related products, it’s important to know the details of state and federal laws.

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Leah Freeman-Haskin

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