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What TSA Says About Flying With Medical Marijuana

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Marijuana airplaneBack in August, after hearing about people flying from Montana to Michigan with medical marijuana, I contacted the Federal Transportation Security Administration to see what the official rules were. Here are the questions I asked:

“It is my understanding that medical marijuana patients can now fly with their medicine. Is this correct? If so, I have a few questions. Are the policy/guidelines online anywhere so I can read them? Also, what destinations are ok? I heard you have to be departing and have a final arrival in a medical marijuana state, but what if the destination state does not have a reciprocal agreement with other state programs? How much medicine can you take on the plane? Is it the limit of the state you are departing from, or the arriving state, or the lesser of the two?? Thanks in advance.”

This was their response that I received recently:

“Thank you for your e-mail concerning the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) policy for allowing passengers with State authorized cards to bring marijuana onboard commercial airlines.

Although TSA has no regulations addressing possession and transportation of marijuana, possessing marijuana in any detectable amount is a crime under Federal law. Further, it is a crime under the laws of many States to possess or transport marijuana.

In the course of screening passengers and their belongings for prohibited items (weapons, explosives, and other objects that may pose a risk to aviation security), Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) sometimes discover marijuana or other items that are illegal under State and Federal laws. When this occurs, TSA’s standard operating procedures require TSOs to report evidence of potential crimes to law enforcement authorities. It is up to the responding law enforcement officer, not our TSOs, to evaluate the circumstances and decide whether to arrest a passenger or confiscate the illegal item.

TSOs must contact a law enforcement officer when marijuana is discovered because (1) possessing marijuana is a crime under Federal law, and (2) TSOs cannot make an independent determination as to whether a passenger’s documentation is sufficient to authorize possession of marijuana under State law. Law enforcement officers must be contacted even if a passenger is carrying a State-issued cannabis card or other documentation indicating that the marijuana is for medical purposes.

TSA Contact Center”

To sum up: it’s up to the local police. I would advise contacting them ahead of time to let them know that you are coming, and be very upfront about your intentions. I have had friends do that, and they were blown away by how cooperative the police were. Of course, they were only flying with small amounts, so that might make a difference when compared to flying with a pound. The amount you can take is dependent upon where you are going to and where you are coming from. If you don’t exceed either state’s limits, then you should be alright! I can’t wait to fly to Montana and visit my buddy with some Oregon nugs!

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43 Comments

  1. Elderly women flying NV to NY with a 4oz jar of Hemp Oil Cream for my chronic Pain.. No THC in Cream, only CBD. Do not need a Medical Marijuana card to use this. Will I be harassed if put in my checked luggage?

  2. Anyone know if you can take HEMP OIL,CBD Cream for chronic pain. Cream is in a 4 oz jar, Southwest Airlines out of Nevada to NY? Inside of checked Luggage best?

  3. I know this is years late for your trip to NY IN NOV. 2011. However I would like others in your situation today to see at least a glimmer of hope and equality when it comes to the legit medical medication you need. From the sound of it, you are not using medical marijuana as your main pain med, recreational, or even as your break through pain reliever, but instead you are using it as way to help you and your lack of a healthy appetite due to something much worse then most of us could ever imagine experiencing… chemotherapy due to Cancer, AIDS, or some other unfortunately terminal situation. Therefore you need it jist to get a little nutrition in your body. ….. Anyway I’m sure you have heard of the drug Marinol… Big Pharmaceuticals THC pill… They allow this drug on all flights.. So there has been a movement by the Veterans Administration to make it easier for veterans and all citizens to use CBDs and THC or Marinol like substances just like any other big pharmaceutical drug. If by chance you can get Marinol prescribed to you that would be the best route to go. And if you get Marinol prescribed to you I’m confident you can get the liquid adaptation of that drug which would make it 100% within federal guidelines! So good luck to all my brothers and sisters who are just trying to survive and live life happily… And hopefully someday big Pharmaceutical can put pressure to have the United States government see just how helpful medical marijuana can be… I myself cannot use medical marijuana I am stuck using opiate pills which ironically destroyed many parts of my life. The military put me on everything from Oxycontin Dilaudid fentanyl patches Percocet Norco MS Contin Opanas… They’re all the same thing… SHIT! I only wish I can go back to medical marijuana and not have opiate withdrawals if I try not to take my meds because I’m having a good day. Please be safe and enjoy life!

  4. Flying back from Pasco,Wa. to Orlando and want to bring Drops,balm-which smell like lavendar…and drops are sealed and in a glass bottle…and a candy bar …all sealed in cooking bag then a heat sealed bag. Don t have a med. card.Will i get arrested? Suggestions?

  5. I put it in my carry on with my MMC on top. no problem. Took a qtr. oz., in the original package with the label on. Do not re-package or try to hide it. Safe I’ve heard if flying into a state that accepts other states MMC’s.

  6. Flying out of SMF (Sac) to ITO (Hilo, Hi) next week. What are SMF’s guidelines? Should I call TSA? Or Sherriff?Should I seal & reaseal, & package so it doesn’t look or smell like medical marijuana? Or does it matter if it is obvious? Should I lable it, not label it? Inform TSA, or wait until they find it? Mailing meds is DEFINITELY illegal. Questions…….

  7. Call and check on the local laws before you fly and carry. The best way to get it past the TSA (or any cop for that mater) is to use the same procedure they use in the prison system to get cannabis into the prisons, wrap it real tightly with plastic wrap and stick it up your butt. 1 oz of cleaned cannabis can be reduced down to the size of a roll of quarters.

  8. In May 2013, I flew out of SFO to JFK in New York with no problems! Had an ounce of medicine in my carry on with my doctors recommendation. Went through standing X ray while my bag was on the conveyor and they didn’t even ask questions! I spoke with a TSA agent after I passed through security and he said that they don’t usually look for marijuana. They are more concerned about liquids, weapons, and some electronics. Also told me if they did spot the Marijuana that all they would do was call SFPD and they will verify my recommendation and if everything is legit they would let me board the plane.

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