October 04, 2018
Last week, social media was flooded with memes celebrating and humoring the decision that cannabis can be brought by the passengers at LAX. While the provision has just come into public knowledge, the law was in place since the blanket legalization of the strain from the beginning of the year. However, it’s important to mention that federal laws still consider cannabis as a controlled substance. This means the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will continue to treat cannabis possession on passengers like before.
According to Proposition 64, Californians 21 and above can possess up to 28.5 grams of flower and 8 grams of the concentrates for personal use. In accordance with the proposition, the Los Angeles Airport Police Department also allows the passengers to go through LAX with the prescribed amounts on them. It’s passengers’ responsibility to check the respective cannabis laws of the state they are traveling to.
TSA has also given a clarification after the news made it into the headlines. According to Lori Dankers, the spokesperson of TSA, the agency will treat cannabis in accordance with federal laws during passenger screenings and would refer the case to local police if cannabis is found on anyone. Dankers has also clarified that TSA follows the same SOP at every airport in the country including LAX.
In other words, TSA will not confiscate cannabis products and it will be up to local law enforcement’s discretion to prosecute the passenger in the light of state laws. As per Dankers, statewide cannabis legalization measures don’t have any implications for TSA’s work. The agency will treat the strain as a controlled substance classified in Schedule 1. This means state laws applying on origin and departure airports won’t factor in during TSA searches.
The objective of TSA is to confiscate anything that poses a security threat to the flight. For instance, TSA doesn’t confiscate and retain fake IDs and credit cards. They refer all such cases to local law enforcement agencies. Since possession of cannabis on passengers doesn’t have any security repercussions, therefore TSA is not going to deal with cannabis possession cases. In the words of Boston’s TSA spokesperson, the agency is mandated to carry out administrative searches and not criminal searches.
Passengers can also go through Logan with cannabis
In Massachusetts, the law allows the citizens to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal consumption. The state’s Port Authority, which manages the operations of Logan International Airport, doesn’t have any policy as of now that prohibits the passengers to travel with a prescribed amount of cannabis.
According to law experts, it will be easier for passengers to travel between two pot legal states. Otherwise, one has to go through the bother of getting tossed around between different law enforcement agencies before boarding the flight.
Amid all its implications, the awareness that it is possible to go through LAX with pot will increase the instances of passengers traveling with cannabis.