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Flying with Marijuana: Recreational or Medicinal


Are you thinking about flying with marijuana? Maybe you’ve already done it. I know a lot of people that have flown with marijuana for a very long time. I know even more people that have thought about doing it, but were obviously worried about the possible ramifications.

I once flew from Portland to Denver with a very prominent marijuana figure who flew with a quarter pound of flower and an ounce of concentrates. I went through the security check and didn’t have any issues. The person I’m talking about was right behind me, and was stopped.

For obvious reasons, my heart was pounding wondering what might happen to him. After a brief discussion with the TSA employee, I saw him reach into his bin of stuff, pull out his keys, pull a very small pocket knife off of his key chain. He then proceeded forward through the checkpoint. When his carry-on bag – with the cannabis in it – was run through the x-ray machine, I could clearly see the flower and concentrates which were in vacuum sealed bags. Yet, the TSA guy didn’t bat an eye. This, of course, was a flight from Portland to Denver, so he probably just didn’t care.

What you should know about flying with marijuana

But what about other airports? What is their protocol when they come across marijuana? One big misconception is that the TSA people are cops – which is not the case. They do security work, but when a crime is found to have potentially occurred, they detain the suspect and call local law enforcement. So if you are flying out of Seattle’s airport, for instance, Seattle police would be called, who would be enforcing Seattle laws. So if you are flying out of a legal state, you can fly with whatever your state’s legal medical and/or recreational marijuana limits are.

But there are some exceptions. Denver’s airport for instance has a law specifically against flying with marijuana, but they also have amnesty boxes where you can drop off your marijuana without any questions being asked. Realize that not all airports and local cops are created equal. The cops in Portland, Oregon, where marijuana is legal, are going to be far nicer if/when they come to the airport to investigate compared to cops in Louisiana (where marijuana is still very much illegal).

The moral of the story is if you can avoid flying with marijuana, that is always best. But if you do, chances are you will likely be successful, but there will always be the risk of getting busted if you are flying from or to a state that does not have legal recreational or medical marijuana laws.


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Johnny Green


  1. Actually you can easily bring a gun with you when flying. It just needs to not be loaded (duh), packed in your check-in luggage and call the airline to declare it. Isn’t it nuts that it’s much easier to travel with a firearm than your MMJ?

    I agree with the writer though. I’ve taken cannabis with me everywhere I’ve traveled for my entire adult life (over twenty years) and never had a problem. I recently was flying home from SF and had an ounce in my carry on. I usually put in in my checked in luggage, so didn’t know what they would do (figured the worst they would do is take it). They didn’t even bat an eyelash. Happy travels.

  2. kris mccullough on

    That’s about right. lets make life harder… now people have to buy “drugs” instead of bring the “Medicine” they grew themselves. That’s creates and helps feed a black market that would barley exist if it was just legal. I herd they are tring to pass a law that allow us to carry gun easier across state lines. like I said …. That’s about right. sad

  3. It would be great if all states honored medical Marijuan. We should be free to travel with Marijuana by road, train or air.

  4. Exactly. Think about the passengers with mental conditions who freak out and cause all sorts of problems, including death. Surely marijuana would have a soothing effect on them. Then there’s the rest of us who might well develop a mental condition from flying.

  5. Airlines should pass out edibles to ward off anxiety attacks. Goodness knows we all need them considering the likelihood of a catastrophe weighing on our minds.

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