As Californians work through the ins and outs of marijuana legalization, many questions arise. One of these is whether people can travel with the substance, or if they can even bring it into a secure airport in California. According to recent reports, people may legally bring cannabis into Los Angeles International Airport, but those who attempt to carry it on a plane can be charged with federal drug crimes.
Contradictions between federal and state drug laws are one of the most challenging legal aspects of marijuana legalization such as that in California. Those attempting to travel with a substance are at particular risk for federal charges. The high security at airports and seriousness with which the federal government takes trafficking charges should deter a Californian from trying to travel with marijuana.
If pot is identified by TSA during security clearance at LAX, the airport police will be contacted. The actions police may take vary depending on the amount; those with less than one ounce on their person should be released while still in California. However, if they choose to fly outside the state and their destination does not have marijuana legalization, they may be in trouble upon landing.
Some California airports, such as San Diego International Airport, do not yet have a formal policy on marijuana. This means that some people may have no problem with the substance in the airport, while others may face delays or worse from law enforcement agents. Those charged with drug crimes related to traveling with substances or any other issues should work with a lawyer in their state to understand defense options.