Understanding TSA Guidelines When Traveling with Marijuana

Flying with Marijuana: What you Need to Know

As more and more states legalize the use of both medical and recreational marijuana, travelers are increasingly curious about the legality of flying with the controlled substance.

In response, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokesperson discussed the federal agency’s stance on marijuana and what happens when a traveler is found to be carrying marijuana. The TSA issued the following comments:

“It is important for me to note that the TSA response to the discovery of marijuana is the same in every state and at every airport, regardless of whether marijuana has been legalized or will be legalized. This also covers medical marijuana.”

“TSA’s focus is on terrorism and threats to the security of the aircraft and its passengers. TSA screening procedures, which are governed by federal law, are security-focused and designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers.”

“As has always been the case, if during the security screening process a TSA officer discovers an item that may violate the law, TSA refers the matter to authorities. Law enforcement officials will determine whether to initiate a criminal investigation or what actions, if any, will be taken.”

Marijuana remains an illegal substance under federal law.
The airports of origin and destination of the passengers are not taken into account. Airport authorities will be notified if a TSA officer discovers marijuana during the carry-on and checked baggage security screening process.
Whether or not the passenger is allowed to travel with marijuana is at the discretion of the authorities.
“Finally, TSA screening procedures are security-focused and designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.”

According to the TSA, marijuana and certain cannabis-infused products, including some cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law, except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight or are approved by the FDA. TSA agents must report any suspected violations of the law to local, state, or federal authorities.

While it is still illegal to fly with marijuana, TSA screening procedures are primarily focused on security threats, and TSA agents do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs. However, if any illegal substances are discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to law enforcement.

In cases where a passenger is found with marijuana, the TSA will refer them to the appropriate authorities, who will determine whether to initiate a criminal investigation or take other actions.

It’s important to note that state laws regarding marijuana possession may vary, so even if a passenger successfully gets through the TSA checkpoint with marijuana, they may still have to comply with state laws at their final destination.

Overall, flying with marijuana is a risky endeavor, as it is still illegal under federal law. While TSA agents may not actively search for marijuana, if it is discovered during security screening, the passenger may face legal consequences.

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