U.S. Airports to Allow Passengers to Bring Their Marijuana
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — October 1, 2018
At the moment, this applies only to the Los Angeles airport, but U.S. authorities haven’t excluded that this rule could soon spread to the entire country.
The policy is tied to Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana in California. As a result, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is changing its policy to allow travelers 21 or older to carry the drug.
But at the same time, there are limits: a maximum of 28.5 grams (about an ounce) of standard marijuana and 8 grams of the condensed variety.
The policy states:
While federal law prohibits the possession of marijuana (inclusive of federal airspace), California’s passage of Proposition 64, effective January 1, 2018, allows for individuals 21 years of age or older to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana for personal consumption. In accordance with Proposition 64, 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. However, passengers should be aware that marijuana laws vary state by state and they are encouraged to check the laws of the states in which they plan to travel.
It is also important to note that if you are flying to another state where this rule doesn’t apply yet, or to another country where marijuana is prohibited, you may be detained at that destination.
Also note that there is still a ban on the possession of drugs, including marijuana, in California, which means federal TSA agents may take action.
TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said late last week that agents won’t take people’s marijuana away but will summon the police and let them deal with it.
“TSA’s focus is on terrorism and security threats to the aircraft and its passengers,” Dankers said in an email. “Whether or not the passenger is allowed to travel with marijuana is up to law enforcement’s discretion.”
If it turns out that the passenger hasn’t exceeded the allowed dose, airport police will simply turn them loose.
“There is no crime,” commented airport Officer Alicia Hernandez.
In other states, it is not yet possible to use and transport marijuana through international airports despite legalization in the country. For example, San Diego International Airport has no marijuana policy, said spokesman Jonathan Heller.
In Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, it is still illegal to bring it into Denver International Airport.
Airport spokeswoman Emily Williams says it’s because possession is still a federal crime and air travel is governed by federal authorities.
In any case, few have been caught carrying marijuana she said, and for those who have been, the penalty was light where the amount was small.
“If it’s a small amount, the TSA and the Denver Police Department will ask that person to dispose of it and if that person is willing to do that, they move through,” she said.
The main issue is that marijuana, like other drugs, cannot be exported from the country, while it is possible within the U.S., which means that authorities will soon adopt laws allowing its transportation. If a person can get away with simple fine today, then the authorities may soon decide to do away with fines altogether.