TSA Inconsistent Policies for Passengers with Marijuana

The current policy of the Transportation Security Administration is to abstain from searching for marijuana. The final decision as to whether to allow items on a plane still rests with the Transportation Security Administration.


The marijuana lawyers of Colorado are committed to informing members of the public about various policies surrounding medicinal marijuana.

The announced policy on the Transportation Security Administration’s website is somewhat ambiguous. However, according to a report there have been instances of TSA leniency when it comes to passengers boarding planes with medicinal marijuana.

Although state laws are being re-written regarding the legality of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use – flying with marijuana is still a violation of technically federal law since airports and airplanes fall within federal jurisdiction.

It is still prohibited to bring over 3.4 ounces of liquid onto an airplane but the Transportation Security Administration policy regarding marijuana is certainly not as clear cut.

The transportation security administration states that it may turn over an individual to law enforcement officers if they are found with marijuana (medicinal or otherwise).

There was a report of a well-known rap artist being caught with marijuana in his luggage and he was only left a note saying: “C’mon son.” by the TSA agents who located the drug.

In another instance at Los Angeles International Airport, approximately one-hundred pounds of marijuana was found in a bag checked by a passenger.

In that situation a TSA agent involved stated that after an alarm sounded they opened the passenger’s bag. Inside the bag there were large packages of marijuana wrapped to look like birthday gifts.

The estimated street value of the 100 pounds was about $300,000. This may lead one to believe the dividing line for the Transportation Security Administration is related to the amount of marijuana found.

In some states passengers have even reported showing their paperwork to Transportation Security Agents and being allowed to board planes with their marijuana.

It is recommended that you never attempt to fly internationally with marijuana as you are risking arrest, detainment, and having your medicine confiscated.
The TSA’s possible laxity on marijuana laws is somewhat perplexing given their status as a federal agency.

It seems the TSA’s policy is that discovering contraband of this type is not part of their mission. Essentially the agency may not want to spend the time and resources scouring passengers luggage for the presence of marijuana.

The federal government

The Colorado CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.

Additional Resources:

Few Problems With Cannabis for California, Oct. 26, 2013, By Adam Nagourney and Rick Lyman, The New York Times

More Blog Entries:

Arizona Prosecutors: Medical Marijuana or Driver’s License, Sept. 1, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog

U.S. Attorney General: It’s Time for Drug Sentencing Reform, Aug. 15, 2013, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog

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