Is It Illegal To Bring Weed Seeds On A Plane

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If you're thinking of traveling with weed in your baggage, here is what you need to know. The laws are not as simple as you might think. Basic advice for avoiding or reducing baggage fees. The way society views marijuana is slowly but surely changing, with some states making possessing and using pot legal. According to The Washington…

Is It Legal to Take Marijuana on a Plane?

As far as marijuana is concerned, its legal status is confusing for many in the United States. The issue of bringing cannabis on an airplane is a perfect case in point. It is a federally illegal substance like heroin. Consequently, one would assume that carrying it onboard an aircraft is a prohibited act.

Conversely, you may think it is okay as long as you fly from one ‘legal’ marijuana state to another. Neither supposition is accurate as shades of gray continue to cause problems. This article outlines if you can or should bring cannabis on a plane.

Marijuana & Airplanes – The Law in General

Cities own airports. However, the federal government is authorized to operate them, and federal law supersedes state law. It doesn’t matter if you buy your marijuana legally. It becomes an illegal substance from the moment you show a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent your boarding pass.

Yet even then, the issue is far from cut and dried. The TSA is tasked with keeping planes and passengers secure. They are far more concerned about finding explosive devices than marijuana.

The TSA’s screening procedures mean detecting potential threats. As a result, they are not actively looking for drugs, so you could technically sneak through without a problem. However, the likely outcome is that a TSA agent will find the cannabis and hand you over to airport security.

The Amnesty Box

When an airport security agent gets involved, there are several possible outcomes. Airports such as Aspen-Pitkin County in Colorado or McCarran in Las Vegas, Nevada, have a special ‘amnesty’ box. Passengers can place their cannabis in this box and not face any legal consequences. This is primarily because recreational use is permitted in these states.

If you’re fortunate, a police officer might wave you through with the marijuana if you have a valid MMJ card. However, this is an infrequent occurrence. You are far more likely to meet a law enforcement official who takes a dim view of your actions. While local police may not press charges, the federal government could potentially get involved.

It is a felony to transport ‘for-sale’ weed outside a state according to most states’ laws. It is also a federally illegal act. If you are caught with a large amount, you could spend several years in prison. The majority of cases that end up in court are tried on a state level. This is better news for the defendant because it increases the chances of a favorable outcome.

What About the Legal Marijuana States?

Don’t assume that taking cannabis from one recreationally legal state to another (Colorado to California, for example) is permissible. If a TSA agent finds marijuana or another illegal substance during security screening, the default policy is to contact law enforcement. Your destination and location of origin are not taken into account. The response of the TSA to cannabis at the airport is consistent across the United States.

Don’t assume that taking cannabis from one recreationally legal state to another is permissible.

Will you be arrested in an airport in a recreational state? The answer is: “It depends.” Officials are lenient in certain airports, such as John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, for example. Therefore, airport police won’t charge you with a crime if you have a state legal amount. You won’t be allowed to bring it onboard, however.

The likely response depends on the airport rather than the state. At Denver International Airport, for example, marijuana is banned anywhere on airport property. It is a very different story at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

LAX Is Lenient Regarding Marijuana Possession

Cannabis has been legal for recreational use in California since January 1, 2018. On the same day, LAX updated its marijuana policy. According to the airport’s official website, Los Angeles Airport Police Division (LAPD) officers have no jurisdiction to arrest anyone in possession of marijuana. That is, as long as you carry it following state law.

At the time of writing, passengers at LAX are allowed to travel through security with up to 8 grams of concentrated marijuana and 28.5 grams of marijuana flower. The policy also applies to several other airports under APD jurisdiction.

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Traveling with weed? Here’s al…

It doesn’t mean you can go through security openly carrying cannabis. A TSA agent can stop you and contact the police as per the usual protocols. The difference is that the APD will arrive and wave you through.

Also, you can be arrested for cannabis possession when you land. Alicia Hernandez, a public information officer for the APD, spoke to Rolling Stone magazine a few years ago. She said that the APD “doesn’t concern itself with other state laws or whether travelers will be violating them upon their arrival.” Therefore, please make sure you check marijuana laws at your destination before boarding the plane.

A Risky Business

For the most part, law enforcement is not concerned about passengers carrying small amounts of cannabis. Even so, it is very much a case of ‘carry at your own risk.’ If you need it for medical purposes, make sure you have your MMJ card and don’t attract unwanted attention. Make sure there are no liquids in your bag, and there’s a chance that your edibles will go unnoticed.

It is very much a case of ‘carry at your own risk.’

It is a bad idea to try and bring oils or tinctures on board. The mere fact that they are liquid immediately draws attention. Edibles are much harder to detect, especially if you make them yourself and package them like everyday food items. Edibles also have less of a smell. In contrast, you are more likely to get caught if you try to bring cannabis flower through.

If you are caught, don’t object, complain, or get angry with the TSA agent. There is no point trying to talk your way out of the situation. Make sure you display your MMJ card if you have it. There is no real defense for interstate transportation, so stay silent, and ask for an attorney if you get arrested.

Is It Legal to Take Weed on a Plane? Final Thoughts

The issue of whether or not you can bring cannabis on a plane is straightforward if you look at a strictly legal definition. Airports are under federal purview. Marijuana is a federally illegal substance. Therefore, you can’t legally bring marijuana through airport security.

Is It Illegal To Bring Weed Seeds On A Plane

The two largest countries that allow adults to purchase, possess, and consume recreational marijuana (cannabis), Canada and the US, have very different laws and regulations when it comes to air travel. Anyone who plans to travel by air in either of these two countries should be aware of some of those laws and regulations, as well as some of the important differences between how the two countries deal with recreational marijuana. The following are some of the questions that an air traveler may ask about marijuana when it comes to air travel in the US and Canada.

For some of the questions, the answers may be different depending on which country is involved.

Basic questions and answers

Can I bring marijuana to the airport?
US: Maybe. It is only legal to do so in those jurisdiction where it is legal to possess marijuana. It depends on what you plan on doing once you are at the airport. If you are flying and have to go past security screening, marijuana is not allowed. The secure part of the airport, which is the area beyond TSA screening, is under federal control, and marijuana is not allowed in any area under federal jurisdiction, including aircraft and aircraft boarding areas. If the airport is in a state that allows the possession of marijuana, the state or local jurisdiction may have less restrictive rules in the non-secure area of the airport. However, some airports may choose to ban marijuana from all airport property. If this is not the case, then you may possess marijuana so long as you stay outside of the secure areas of the airport and don’t go through the TSA screening stations.

Canada: Yes, but with one exception. Canada does not allow marijuana to cross any international border, so marijuana is not allowed in any section of the airport where you first have to pass through customs.

Can I bring marijuana on the plane?
US: No. You are not allowed to bring marijuana on the plane. All aircraft in the US operate under federal laws and regulation, and the transport of marijuana by air is prohibited.

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Canada: Yes, but only if the aircraft is on a domestic flight within Canada. Marijuana is not allowed on any international flight to or from Canada.

What happens if my plane is diverted to the US or Canada?
US: The aircraft, including all passengers, crew, baggage, and cargo would be under US jurisdiction, and anyone in possession of marijuana may be subject to US laws, which could include, fines, arrest, and being refused entry into the US in the future.

Canada: It is illegal to import marijuana into Canada, so if you have marijuana or products containing marijuana with you, you must declare them to the Canada Border Services Agency

Can I put marijuana in a checked bag?
US: No. Marijuana is not allowed on an aircraft either in carry on bags, checked bags, or cargo. All aircraft in the US operate under federal laws and regulation, and the transport of marijuana by air is prohibited.

Canada: Yes, but only if the aircraft is on a domestic flight within Canada.

Can I mail or ship my marijuana before I get on the plane?
US: No. Federal law prohibits sending marijuana through the mail or through shipping services like FedEx and UPS. All aircraft in the US operate under federal laws and regulation, and the transport of marijuana by air is prohibited.

Canada: Yes. Marijuana can be mailed in Canada, but only to addresses within Canada.

Can I have my marijuana delivered by drone?
US: No. US federal law prohibits aircraft operators, including operators of drones, from carrying marijuana on that aircraft. This would be the case even if you are using your own personal drone. There are a number of US federal laws and regulations related to marijuana, many of which have potentially severe penalties for both the drone operator and the marijuana customer.

Canada: Other than crossing international borders, there are no specific restrictions on flying marijuana on a drone use other than the laws and regulations regarding recreational and commercial drone operations.

Can I fly after consuming marijuana?
US and Canada: Yes, but it may not be a good idea. While US and Canadian laws don’t prohibit passengers from flying under the influence of drugs, if you are intoxicated, your airline may prevent you from boarding your aircraft. Also, if you fly while intoxicated, you may not be able to react appropriately in emergency situations, and your behavior may be affected in a way that makes you a hazard to crew members and other passengers.

Because some forms of marijuana, particularly edible marijuana products, may take a while before the intoxicating effects are evident, if you consume marijuana shortly before getting on board, you may become intoxicated during the flight.

Can I smoke marijuana in a designated airport smoking area?
US: No. These smoking areas are public areas for smoking of tobacco products, not marijuana. Also, the states that do allow the consumption of marijuana typically prevent users from doing so in public view, including areas where the public is allowed to smoke of tobacco products.

Canada: Maybe. It will depend on the local laws and regulations.

Can I consume marijuana at the airport if I am not smoking it?
US and Canada: That will depend on the local laws applicable at that airport.

What is considered out of the public view at the airport?
US and Canada: That is up to the interpretation of the law enforcement organizations at that particular airport, and whether there are restrictions on the use of marijuana on airport property.

Can I fly with medical marijuana if I have a prescription?
US: No. Federal law does not allow any kind of marijuana, whether it is medical or recreational marijuana, on airliners or in the secure parts of the airport terminal (beyond the TSA screening stations), and it does not matter if you have a prescription for medical marijuana.

Canada: Yes, but only if the aircraft is on a domestic flight within Canada. Medical marijuana is treated the same as recreational marijuana, and is also not allowed on any international flight to or from Canada.

Am I allowed to fly into an airport with marijuana?
US: No. The US government does not allow marijuana aboard airliners, so if you have somehow managed to bring marijuana with you on your inbound flight, you have broken the law, and may be subject to arrest and prosecution by federal authorities.

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Canada: Yes, but only if the flight was a domestic flight entirely within Canada.

Are non-citizens allowed to travel from overseas to consume marijuana?
US: Maybe. If your stated purpose of travel, either upon entry or when applying for a visa, is to consume or purchase marijuana, then you may be refused entry on your current trip and restricted from entry in the future. If the purpose of our visit is for another reason, once you enter the US, you are allowed to purchase and consume only in those states where it is legal to do so.

Canada: Yes. While there is no restriction on the part of Canadian authorities, you may be in violations of the laws or regulations of your home country, or of any country you enter after leaving Canada.

Can I enter or leave the country carrying marijuana-related items?
US: Maybe. Federal law prohibits the importation or export of any drug paraphernalia used to consume marijana. If you are not a US citizen, US authorities may confiscate items that are not not directly related to the use or production marijuana, for example clothing depicting marijuana plants.

Canada: Yes. So long as any items contain no trace of marijuana residue. Keep in mind that there may be restrictions in the country you departed prior to entering Canada.

Is It Illegal To Bring Weed Seeds On A Plane

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

These Are The 5 Things You Need To Know About Flying With Marijuana

The way society views marijuana is slowly but surely changing, with some states making possessing and using pot legal.

According to The Washington Post, there are currently 11 states, DC, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands that have legalized recreational marijuana. In addition, 33 states and DC have legalized the medical use of marijuana. There are also other states that are making strides to decriminalize weed.

Illinois, a state that recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, has added pot amnesty boxes in Chicago O’Hare International airport and Midway. The boxes are located at the end of security checkpoints for travelers who are carrying marijuana and don’t want to break the law by taking it on the flight.

Maggie Huynh, public relations coordinator at the Chicago Police Department tells The Washington Post: “The amnesty boxes are owned by the Department of Aviation here in Chicago and served by us at the police department. The boxes are where travelers can safely dispose of cannabis and cannabis products before travel.”

Seeing these boxes before boarding your flight may be a bit confusing as to whether or not traveling with weed is ok.

Here are 5 things you need to know when traveling with marijuana:

Arriving At The Airport With Marijuana

It all depends on which airport you arrive with marijuana. For example, airports like LAX and Chicago O’Hare won’t stop travelers who are in possession with an ounce or less of weed.

“If, however, you arrive at the airport and realize you have marijuana in your possession and do not want to travel with it, you can deposit it in the amnesty goes if there are any present, or you can throw it in the trash,” says Larry Mishkin, a Northbrook, Ill., lawyer at the Hoban Law Group. Mishkin works to help people with marijuana-related cases in the U.S. and internationally.

However, Todd Maybrown, a partner at Allen, Hansen, Maybrown and Offenbecher in Seattle says: “In a perfect world, I would recommend that people return to their vehicle and place any marijuana in a secure compartment, such as the trunk or a locked glove box.”

Maybrown goes on to say: “In an imperfect world, where the passenger does not have a vehicle at the airport, a trip to the bathroom may be the best solution. There are no cameras in the bathroom, and toilet bowls can be flushed.”

If TSA Finds Marijuana In Your Baggage

According to the TSA website, TSA security officers don’t search for illegal drugs.

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