Taking a trip for the holidays? Visiting friends and family? It may be tempting to bring along some marijuana, either for medicinal or recreational purposes. Marijuana is now legal for recreational or medical use in 29 states and Washington D.C., meaning that many holiday travelers will be jumping from one legal state to another. Here in Florida, medical marijuana is legal, but recreational use is still prohibited.
Passengers must remember that it is only legal under state law, and different states recognize different qualifying conditions. The very act of crossing state lines, however, invokes federal regulation, where marijuana is still viewed as an illegal substance. There are, however, policies in place that make it easier to travel with marijuana products in some circumstances.
Let's get the easiest answer out of the way first: It is absolutely a bad idea to take marijuana on an international flight. U.S. officials can stop and charge someone caught in possession of (any amount) of marijuana with a federal misdemeanor.
TSA and Federal Law
Back in April, the TSA posted on their website that medical marijuana was officially allowed in both checked and carry-on baggage. This announcement lasted roughly 24 hours before it was reversed with a statement that local laws are not relevant to TSA screening. Both medical and recreational marijuana are still illegal under federal law. The announcement also stated, however, that TSA does not search for marijuana.
Ultimately, practices vary by airport. Some will check a ticket to make sure the passenger is legal on both ends, while others will ask the passenger to throw it out. It is a good idea to call the airport in advance if one is not sure about their policy. Orlando Airport, for example, voted in June to ban medical marijuana on airport premises, resulting in confiscation if found.
To learn more about the travel restrictions surrounding marijuana, or medical marijuana in general, visit the Marijuana Doctor at any of our locations today.