Cannabis Flies the Friendly Skies – Or Does It?

Summary and opinion by John Fouts.

Federal law prohibits cannabis in any form to be possessed by individuals for legal or medicinal purposes because cannabis is still considered to be a schedule I substance by our federal government. TSA is not an anti-drug entity, however, and does not search for marijuana during the screening process.  If, however, cannabis is turned up during a search or screen, appropriate law enforcement officer(s) are notified.

TSA still reserves the right to deny any item on board a plane, and this includes marijuana.  Even if a person is flying from one legal state to another legal state, the cannabis may not be protected, and the person possessing it could potentially face charges.  State laws vary regarding how medical cannabis is handled.  This includes, but is not limited to, reciprocity of medical marijuana card holder status in each state (departure and arrival destination). TSA is a federal agency, so if a TSA agent has an issue with cannabis, he or she has the right to arrest an individual for possession even if the individual has a medical cannabis card, even if the individual flying is traveling from one destination in a legal state to another destination within the same legal state.  The issue is not black and white, rather a vague gray area exists surrounding cannabis in terms of flying.  A final message here to be received is attempting to fly with cannabis is a do so at your own risk type of endeavor.

My Opinion:  Because marijuana is still classified as schedule I by the federal government, I would be extremely leery about trying to bring medicinal marijuana on board a commercial aircraft.  I feel like being an activist is still a fairly risky proposition in this country, let alone trying to fly with plant material or related products. Perhaps that is because I have become sensitized to how the plant is still viewed in the area of the country in which I live.  I do feel federal law changes are in the near future for the country regarding cannabis, and when the law at the federal level does change we are going to see huge shifts in attitude across entire industries including flight.  I look forward to seeing this happen.

Read the original article here.



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