The United States is quickly adopting a different attitude toward cannabis and marijuana.
Simply put, it’s becoming far more legal in more places than it’s ever been before.
Cannabis can be used for a number of things: from baking, to smoking, to medical marijuana drops, to CBD oil, etc.
And the movement toward complete legalization is continuing to gain momentum.
But here’s the thing.
There are still a lot of questions surrounding the question of ‘flying with cannabis.’
Not only is cannabis legality a bit of a limited and delicate thing in some places—but it’s also true that airports are highly secure facilities, where TSA and airport security place tight parameters on what can and can’t be taken on flights.
So how do you know what to do with cannabis when you plan to fly?
Well, in this post, you’re going to learn some of the most pressing answers.
Let’s break it down.
It’s Not Actually Legal To Fly With Marijuana In Your Possession
Yep. Unfortunately, you can’t fly with cannabis in the United States without committing a federal crime.
Here’s the issue.
Marijuana is legal in some states. But at the federal level, it’s still illegal. And the feds are the ones responsible for governing air travel—not the states.
What If You’re Flying Out Of A State Where Marijuana Is Legal?
Even if you’re flying out of a state where marijuana is perfectly legal, it’s still technically illegal to fly with it.
Because the airspace you’ll be flying in is technically federal territory.
So it doesn’t really matter what the laws are in the state you’re flying out of. At this point, it’s still just plain illegal to fly with pot.
What If You’re Flying Into A State Where It’s Legal?
It’s still considered illegal to fly with marijuana in your possession, even if the state you’re flying into has legalized it.
What Will Happen If TSA Finds Cannabis In Your Luggage?
According to the official TSA website, their goal when searching luggage is to “detect potential threats to aviation and passengers.”
They go on to say that their officers don’t specifically search for marijuana, or any other illegal drugs. But if they discover an illegal substance, they will refer the matter to law enforcement.
Can You Get In Trouble If TSA Discovers Marijuana In Your Luggage Even If It’s Legal In That State?
This is one of those areas where things can get tricky.
In many states nowadays where marijuana and cannabis are legal, amnesty boxes are provided so that people can get rid of their pot before boarding the airplane.
This is actually kind of a ‘courtesy’ extended to them by the airport, to help avoid problems and to help people dispose of their marijuana in a manner that’s both legal and safe.
How Can You Know Which States Have Legalized Marijuana?
Check out Leafly.com for a pretty detailed and up-to-date look on exactly where cannabis has been legalized in the United States, and to what extent.
Can You Sneak Your Cannabis Onto A Plane?
Alright. This is some pretty risky territory.
After all, don’t forget that bringing cannabis onto a commercial airplane in the United States is a federal crime.
But we also live in a world where humans are anything if not crafty.
And the simple truth of the matter is that people do smuggle pot onto airplanes—and if you’re bold enough and willing to take the risk, you can probably do so as well.
Thrillist published a pretty in-depth article on this topic. Here are some of the main points from it:
- Start with a very small amount
- Don’t smuggle it in your luggage
- For best results, keep it on your body or in your carry-on luggage
- Scanners see weed as a nondescript blur, so use this to your advantage
- Put your joints into a cigarette pack and carry it in your pocket
- Carry ‘nugs’ of weed in empty Ibuprofen bottles, then put cotton balls on top of it, and put Ibuprofen on top of the cotton
- You can hide a small baggie in your shoe
According to the above-linked article, edibles are much easier to fly with, as you can really hide them in plain sight.
Nobody will think that your bag of Haribo gummy bears are actually edibles, especially since the TSA isn’t really super concerned with marijuana.
Therefore, if you can avoid detection by disguising your edibles as ‘regular, legal food to fly with,’ you should be good to go.
Vape cartridges are a bit tougher to fly with, due to restrictions on liquids.
Be Careful Flying With Cannabis
Don’t forget that it’s still illegal to fly with pot.
And if you’re not careful, you could (worst case scenario) get into a lot of trouble.
The best rule of thumb? Just don’t do it.
But if you’re a risk-taker and you’re willing to risk possible trouble to smuggle your cannabis onto an airplane… well, just remember… our official advice is not to do it.
In other words; we told you so!