Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) released their policy on traveling with cannabis and it’s a little...cloudy.
So what the heck does that really mean? Prop 64 allows you to possess a certain amount of the drug as a recreational or medical user. Private property owners can decide whether or not they will allow you to bring cannabis onto their premises, which is similar to a restaurant policy. Are cannabis users at risk if we decide to travel with our medicine? We can’t forget that just this year our very own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, doesn’t think good people smoke weed, but with all due respect Sesh, you can go fuck yourself. Half the country is getting high and the other half is watching us (while secretly getting high). That said, us cannabis users should be able to travel with our medicine without fear.
It’s kind of like being pulled over on the road: are you going to get a friendly officer or one that hates life?
Since most people don’t just chill at LAX, this means you can basically travel through the airport, but once you hit security you are out of their jurisdiction. Now you are dealing with TSA—which is under the Department of Homeland Security and under federal rule. According to TSA’s website, “TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.” It’s kind of like being pulled over on the road: are you going to get a friendly officer or one that hates life? The policy of the agency doesn’t change, but it’s up to the officers discretion.
People might misinterpret this as LAX allowing users to travel with cannabis so I asked my lawyer friend Alexa Steinberg, Esq. of Manzuri Law, a prominent cannabis attorney, to clarify what’s allowed and what isn’t. For one, cannabis laws still vary drastically from cigarettes, meaning you’re not legally allowed to indulge in a bit of indica in designated smoking areas. “The statement released says nothing about consumption. In fact, Prop 64 does not allow for consumption in public.” Steinberg explains. “[You] can't walk down the street smoking marijuana the same way you can't walk down the street drinking a margarita.”
And at McCarran International in Las Vegas, they now have leftover cannabis bins installed so people can dispose of their unsmoked cannabis before they go through security. “Although both medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Nevada, it’s still illegal on the federal level, and therefore, illegal to bring along with you on a plane. So to help travelers dispose of their weed before heading out of Sin City, there are large green bins—called amnesty boxes—set up outside”, Newsweek reports.
But before you think about bringing that ounce of weed through the airport, ask yourself if it’s worth the risk. If you are traveling to other legal states, it’s better to just purchase when you arrive. Until federal legalization passes, you are still breaking federal law once you get passed airport security. Odds are, they aren’t trying to ruin your life or make an example out of you, but you just never know. You could end up with the TSA officer who worships Jeff Sessions or one who truly doesn’t give a fuck that you’re trying to get your Grandma, who has colon cancer, high when you get to Boca Raton, Florida.
For now, I’ll stick to getting stoned at home, before I get to the airport.