Yet even then, the issue is far from cut and dried. The TSA is tasked with keeping planes and passengers secure. They are far more concerned about finding explosive devices than marijuana.
Marijuana & Airplanes – The Law in General
Will you be arrested in an airport in a recreational state? The answer is: “It depends.” Officials are lenient in certain airports, such as John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, for example. Therefore, airport police won’t charge you with a crime if you have a state legal amount. You won’t be allowed to bring it onboard, however.
What About the Legal Marijuana States?
Conversely, you may think it is okay as long as you fly from one ‘legal’ marijuana state to another. Neither supposition is accurate as shades of gray continue to cause problems. This article outlines if you can or should bring cannabis on a plane.
No. Medical exemptions for cannabis are irrelevant outside of the state in which the exemption is issued, and airplanes are under federal jurisdiction so there are no exemptions to the illegality of cannabis.
If you try to hide large amounts of marijuana in your bag, you may be detained when you land and exit the plane. Your cannabis will likely be confiscated and you may be faced with legal action for the possession of large amounts of marijuana, especially if you are travelling to a state where it is illegal.
However, just because they aren’t looking for it doesn’t mean they won’t find it. TSA screening procedures regularly reveal drugs of many types. There may also be sniffing dogs present at the airport.
What if I am Found with Weed After Landing in LA?
If you are caught in an airport with illegal amounts of marijuana, or are not of legal age to possess marijuana, local law enforcement may charge you with penalties pursuant to §11357 of the California Health and Safety Code (HSC):