If you’ve visited the Los Angeles International Airport website recently, you might have noticed a change in their public Marijuana Policy.
According to the LAX website:
While federal law prohibits the possession of marijuana (inclusive of federal airspace), California’s passage of proposition 64, effective January 1, 2018, allows for individuals 21 years of age or older to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana for personal consumption. In accordance with Proposition 64, the Los Angeles Airport Police Department will allow passengers to travel through LAX with up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana. However, passengers should be aware that marijuana laws vary state by state and they are encouraged to check the laws of the states in which they plan to travel.
This policy differs from LAX’s past policy on marijuana which stated that if Transportation Security Administration officials caught you with weed in your carry on or checked luggage, they would turn you over to local police for potential arrest and adjudication.
So what does this mean exactly? If you’re an adult traveling through LAX and you happen to have a vape pen, some edibles or a joint in your possession you don’t need to worry about being arrested or having your cannabis confiscated. There's been some debate on whether this means you can bring your cannabis through security and according to a Los Angeles Times article from September 28th, 2018, "Travelers can carry the legal amount of marijuana in California — up to 28.5 grams— through the airport areas that are under city supervision, that is up to pre-security checkpoints. But once you get to a Transportation Security Administration area, which is run by the U.S. government, federal regulations take effect."
It’s important to note that this policy currently applies to LAX only and you should be conscious of the cannabis laws wherever you’re flying to—if you’re going to a state where cannabis isn’t legal you could still be arrested for possessing cannabis there even though you were allowed to have it at LAX. If you’re flying out of the country, be aware that you’ll have to pass through Customs upon landing and if cannabis isn’t legal there you could run into some trouble as well.
Another important reminder--just because you're allowed to possess cannabis at LAX doesn't mean you can consume it there or on your flight. So if you were thinking about lighting up before your final boarding call or while in the air, think again.
The TSA recently tweeted on September 23rd, 2018 about their stance on flying with cannabis:
Still, this is a huge step forward that is indicative of the cultural shift and acceptance of cannabis in the United States. Hopefully more airports in states with legal cannabis will follow LAX’s example and release updated marijuana policies soon.