Can I Bring Weed On a Plane?
Travel season is in full swing, and that means revisiting the dos and don'ts of taking items on a plane. And what pairs better with a vacation than some nice relaxing weed? Whether you’re going from one state with legal cannabis to another or you’re headed to a land where cannabis is illegal, you may be wondering, “Can I bring weed on a plane?”
July 14, 2023
It can be particularly tempting to take weed on a plane when you’re heading somewhere that doesn’t have legal access to cannabis. But let us caution you: It’s not a good idea to fly with cannabis–ever. This is true even if you’re flying in-state in cases like flights from Seattle to Spokane, because cannabis remains illegal on a federal level.
Is TSA looking for weed?
When your bags go through security, TSA is not focused on finding your pot stash. They’re looking to detect threats to passengers and any other sorts of security risks. While a few edibles or joints may be far from a security risk, they can put you at risk of trouble if they’re found during screening.
If, for any reason, your bag needs to be checked and TSA discovers that you’re flying with cannabis, it’s up to the agents to decide if they are going to refer you to local police. Cannabis is still illegal under federal law, so even in states where cannabis is legal on a state level, this would be bad news, as you’re now committing a federal crime.
For example, LAX’s marijuana policy states, “[Los Angeles Airport Police Division] officers, who are California Peace Officers, have no jurisdiction to arrest individuals if they are complying with state law. However, airport guests should be aware that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening stations are under federal jurisdiction.”
Some airports even offer amnesty boxes where travelers can drop their weed off before going through security. This is great for those who forget to clean out their bags or come across a forgotten stash while at the airport.
What about CBD?
When flying within the United States, CBD is accepted so long as it contains 0.3% THC or less. So if you want to take your therapeutic CBD with you, you should be good to go, according to TSA itself.
The administration tweeted last year, “We’re not in the business of being a buzzkill here, but Mary Jane remains illegal on the federal level. Unless of course it contains 0.3 percent or less of THC.”
What happens if I get caught with cannabis at the airport?
As we mentioned earlier, the consequences of being caught with cannabis while headed to a flight can vary based on TSA’s discretion. They may confiscate it, direct you to an amnesty box to drop it off, or ask you to toss it yourself. You may also get a fine for bringing it onto the property, depending on the specific airport’s rules.
And if they choose to, they may report you to local enforcement. What happens from there depends a lot on the location, as well. If you’re carrying a small amount, within the state’s legal limits, law enforcement may not bother to pursue the case. If you’re carrying a much larger amount than is allowed under state law, you’re going to look much more suspicious and the likelihood of legal action becomes much higher.
Likewise, if you’re in a state where cannabis is not legal, then any amount of weed found in your luggage may be more likely to lead to legal action.
The bottom line is that your fate will lie in the hands of the TSA agents and local law enforcement, and that’s never a fun gamble. Your best bet is to not travel with cannabis at all.
Can I fly with mints, edibles, and other discreet items?
The law remains the same for all types of cannabis products. While traveling with some infused mints mixed into a normal mint tin may be much less likely to set off red flags than a bag of flower, it’s still subject to the same rules if flagged and discovered.
Most dogs sniffing luggage at the airport are likely looking for explosives, not drugs. So while the likelihood of TSA discovering your discreet items may be greatly reduced, we still recommend you don’t take the risk.
International flights are a big no-no
You shouldn’t ever bring cannabis on a flight, just to be safe. But if you’re flying domestically, the odds of getting arrested or having a big legal procedure for a forgotten edible or joint are not super high.
When you are headed on an international flight with weed, though, your risks of trouble go way up. It’s always illegal to travel with cannabis in that way, but now you’ve brought it into another government’s jurisdiction if you make it through security with your stash in the United States.
Most countries don’t take kindly to visitors bringing drugs from a foreign country onto their land. So if you’re headed on an international flight, do your due diligence and make sure there is no cannabis on you. Anywhere.
We hope this information will help keep you out of trouble this summer. If you’re flying from one legal state to another, just plan to buy some weed on the other side when you land. After all, it’s fun to check out the products available in different states.
If you’re flying somewhere that weed won’t be accessible, it may be time to take a tolerance break. Just think about how much fun your first toke will be upon your return!
And if you’re looking to stock up on products here in Washington, Piece of Mind Cannabis has you covered. Stop by our Bellingham weed store, Spokane dispensary, or other locations to get everything you need.