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TSA May Allow Certain Passengers to Fly with Marijuana

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Oct 04, 2013 12:44 PM EDT

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Flying high might have a new meaning. Some legal sources are reporting that the TSA may allow passengers to fly while carrying marijuana, depending on where you're going.

Lawyers.com reports that some passengers could get away with flying with weed on them. It isnt necessarily legal to fly with weed under federal law, however some sources say that passengers who fly between states where weed is now legal, can get away with it.

The TSA has the right to confiscate the drugs, but when it comes to drugs, they have to report to local law enforcement. If a passenger is flying with marijuana for medical purposes, of if they're flying between Washington and Colorado, where possession is now legal, law enforcement won't do anything.

The TSA website says "TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs. In the event a substance that appears to be marijuana is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.

Whether or not marijuana is considered "medical marijuana" under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law and federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.

Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane."

Some sources say that the TSA has already been allowing passengers to fly with marijuana. "I hear reports from people flying from one medical use site to another or flying from one part of California to another and they generally report that if they carry their authorization, they simply show the letter and are sent on their way and are allowed to keep their medicine,"  Keith Stroup, an attorney and founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws told Lawyers.com "The same policy should apply Colorado to Washington or Washington to Colorado."

Being able to carry marijuana on a flight is not guaranteed of course. Even those with medical permission or those flying between Washington and Colorado are still taking a risk.

"It is a federal agency, marijuana does remain illegal under federal law, so if you get the wrong TSA agent and he wants to be a pain, he can arrest you," Stroup says. "I'm glad to see there's a little give in the system but obviously at some point we need to remove marijuana from federal law so this is not an issue."

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