Many people travel frequently, but they are often faced with an uncomfortable dilemma: they can’t bring their marijuana with them, and they can’t fly without it. So can medical marijuana be taken on a plane? Read this article to find out.
What is allowed on airplanes?
Medical marijuana is a broad term that refers to the use of cannabis and its cannabinoids to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. These include cancer, chronic pain, PTSD, and other severe medical conditions.
Although there is no formal policy on the matter, Federal authorities generally consider marijuana a Schedule I drug, meaning it has “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Therefore, it is illegal under federal law to possess, sell or transport marijuana on an airplane. However, while possessing small amounts of marijuana for personal use is generally not a criminal offense, the Department of Transportation considers marijuana an unsafe substance and may refuse to allow passengers to board planes if they have any marijuana in their possession.
The Transport Security Administration (TSA) claims that identifying your medical marijuana is not a priority. Mark Howell, a T.S.A. regional spokesman, stated that the agency was “focusing on security and looking for items that are dangerous aboard the airplane.” Despite the fact that the T.S.A. is a federal organization and it frequently seems as though officers are unduly enthusiastic about searching your bags, Mr. Howell said, “we’re not aggressively hunting for marijuana or other substances.”
Be careful: Although the T.S.A. just posted on Instagram that while “T.S.A. officers DO NOT search for marijuana or other illegal drugs,” however, if they do, they are required by federal law to turn the item and the person over to local law enforcement.
“You present your medical marijuana card, and the law enforcement officials will usually just give it back to you,” Mr. Howell continued, in a state where medicinal marijuana is permitted.
Planes and Cannabis
One of the most talked about topics regarding cannabis is whether or not it can be consumed on a plane. While it is still federally illegal to consume cannabis on any form of transportation, some states have legalized cannabis for either medical or recreational use, so what’s the verdict?
Some research shows that consuming cannabis before traveling could increase your odds of avoiding travel-related complications. Researchers found that people who consumed marijuana before flying were less likely to experience headaches and dizziness than those who didn’t. Interestingly enough, study participants who smoked both pre- and post-travel were even less likely to experience adverse effects. Therefore, if you’re traveling with cannabis and want to lessen your chances of headaches and dizziness, it might be a good idea to light up before takeoff! However, as with all things cannabis-related, always consult your physician before hitting the road.
Can Medical Marijuana be Taken on a Plane?
Medical marijuana is now legal in some states, providing relief from various medical conditions. But what about flying with medical marijuana? In theory, you should be able to bring it onto a plane with you as long as it’s packed in your carry-on and doesn’t exceed 100 milligrams. However, the legality of medical marijuana on planes is still up for debate, and airlines are hesitant to get involved in any potential controversy.
Therefore, you should check your airline’s policy, as several of them—including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines—have policies that forbid using medicinal marijuana (THC) while flying, regardless of whether you have a valid medical card.
Because federal law governs air travel, it is currently illegal to bring marijuana on board. When it comes to medical marijuana, however, there is a legal gray area when flying. CBD products (THC less than 0.3%) are permitted in carry-on and checked bags, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), but medical marijuana products remain federally illegal.
When flying, don’t forget all your official documents. Bring your doctor’s recommendation with you, just in case law enforcement stops you. Also, keep your medical recommendation and your medical marijuana card with you, and know your physician’s number and maybe your lawyer’s number — just in case.
That’s it. We hope this article helped you in finding out whether medical marijuana can be taken on a plane. Have a safe flight!