Flying with cannabis on any commercial flight—domestic or international—is illegal, and that remains true even if you are a medical marijuana patient.
All airports, airplanes, and air spaces are under the jurisdiction of federal law, and since cannabis is still federally illegal that means traveling with cannabis risks being arrested and prosecuted.
Yes, this is also true if the state you are leaving from, or traveling to, has legalized recreational marijuana. But, there is good news! That is if you are willing to take the risk.
As both medical and recreational legalization spreads throughout the country, TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is becoming less and less likely to stop and enforce the federal marijuana law for domestic flights.
In other words, TSA is looking the other way, or not looking at all. They’ve made that clear on their website:
“TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs. In the event a substance that appears to be marijuana is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer."
It also greatly depends on the amount one is attempting to travel with.
"Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane,” the website states.
While TSA agents certainly will not let ounces of marijuana slide, a reasonable amount (enough to get you through your trip) should be fine.
Here are some tips on getting your weed past airport security:
TSA won’t let you (or your cannabis) through security if it is not hidden properly. We live in the post 9/11 age of body scanners and pat-downs, so don’t try to store a baggie on your person.
My first, and probably most important, tip is always put cannabis in your checked bag, not in your carry-on.
Fortunately, there are many expert ways of hiding cannabis in a suitcase. The method I’ve used in the past is wrapping my container in seran wrap, hiding it in a sock, and stuffing the sock way at the bottom of my suitcase. Simple enough, right? You could try putting cannabis in a package of coffee beans, hollowing out a pen and hiding a J, or buying a stash box like this hairbrush and deodorant. If you are feeling nervous about traveling with flower—smell is something to consider—some other options include bringing an oil pen or, the most inconspicuous of all, edibles. So, although there is a risk, flying domestically with cannabis is possible.