Flying with weed? It’s no longer a sure thing that marijuana in your carry-on is a bad idea.

TSA agents may be willing to ignore marijuana in your carry-on.

The TSA finds itself struggling to draw the line on what is and isn’t acceptable to transport on airplanes. Nearly half of the states have legalized medical marijuana, so the TSA’s standard operation of calling in law enforcement appears moot with regards to the allowed drug. On the other hand, the TSA is still a federal agency and until marijuana is legalized on a federal level they have to continue to report it, even if you’re in Arizona or Hawaii (two of the twenty states that have legalized marijuana).

The issue seems clear on the TSA website:

“TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs. In the event a substance that appears to be marijuana is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.

Whether or not marijuana is considered “medical marijuana” under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law and federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.

…The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.”

It’s that last sentence that turns the most heads. There are already reports streaming in of people showing agents their medical marijuana card and being allowed to continue onto their flight with weed in their carry-on. For instance, flying from one end of California to another with marijuana is okay as long as you show your medical card, though you still have the possibility that a TSA agent may deny you the right to board the plane with your weed.

But that raises more questions. Is it okay to fly from Washington to Colorado, where marijuana has been legalized for recreational purposes? At least one laywer thinks it should be.

The verdict? Be careful before you do this, but if you remain calm and have the proper identification, you should be alright. Just be ready to lose that extra hour being patted down by the TSA and talking to local police.


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