TSA’s Lack of Knowledge on Cannabis and its Laws
On our way home from Las Vegas weekend, Chris, Dabbing Granny and I had an interaction with the TSA that I’m sure is all too common. We were running late as usual, and Granny’s carryon bag was pulled to be further inspected. TSA asked to open her cannabis medicine pouch and without hesitation Granny let them into the bag. Granny explained to them that she was a medical marijuana patient in Colorado and that her medical card was in the bag with the products. TSA did a full search through the bag, and because it was cannabis she still needed to speak to the Vegas Metro Police Department. They said it was routine and that they were unsure if it was over an ounce (talking about a pouch of “flower” that weighed less than a half eight).
The TSA agent walked Granny and her medicine bag over to the police booth of the airport security. The police went through the bag and pulled out the flower that was causing the issues. They then weighed out the less than two grams and said that it wasn’t over the limit. Despite not being overweight, the Las Vegas Police still tried to keep the medicine, but Granny told them that they had no reason to keep it and that she was taking it. Their response was that it was up to TSA because it was a matter of security letting her take it through. At this point, the kind TSA agent smiled at Granny and said that if it was up to them that she could go, but there are so many things wrong with the situation as it played out.
First, there needs to be better training and/or cheat sheets for the TSA agents, who must quickly decide if the laws that govern the ability to carry cannabis in each of the states has been violated. The agents checking these things need to be aware of what the standard carry limit is medicinally for each state and how to recognize whether it has been breached! Without this information people, will be wrongly arrested or have products confiscated for the wrong reasons. The TSA agent kept saying that Granny had more than an ounce on her, which in itself was not true, but had she known that the standard carry for Colorado is two ounces then it wouldn’t have even been a problem.
Furthermore, they need to understand what the difference in weight is when it comes to marijuana. Obviously two grams and two pounds look different, but if the TSA agents can’t roughly eyeball the measurements of LEGAL medicines then we are all in for a lot of trouble. Another problem was that the TSA agents were not very knowledgeable about cannabis in general because the edibles and concentrates were barely looked at or factored in, but the very recognizable flower was. This is going to be a common issue amongst medicinal cannabis travelers and I am afraid for the outcome of it all. We’re not asking for change, but we are asking that the people who are checking these things are educated on our legal rights with our medicine.
I will also throw this disclaimer in here for the end… I only condone flying with medicine on your person if you are a legal medical patient and are flying from your medical state to another medical one. I do believe that medical patients should be able to fly anywhere with their medicine, but as of right now it is still illegal and that is a topic for another time!