Los Angeles International Airport is officially cannabis-friendly.
In a short post on the official flylax.com website, the Los Angeles International Airport police department says it will openly allow passengers to move through LAX with up to an ounce of flower or eight grams of concentrates.
It may be the first U.S. airport to openly declare that people 21 and over carrying personal amounts of marijuana can access the airport without fear of law-enforcement entanglement. The post does not suggest that consumption would be permitted, nor does it explicitly address how the Transportation Security Administration would interface with the policy.
However, the TSA’s policy upon finding cannabis is to turn travelers and confiscated items over to local airport police – who, since statewide legalization this year, have no crime to charge them with in California. That reality has made flying with discreet amounts within states where marijuana is legal relatively low-risk in 2018.
The LAX statement acknowledges that marijuana is federally illegal, and warns travelers to be wary of where they’re taking their products. Here’s the statement in full, under the header “LAX Marijuana Policy“:
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.
But what about the TSA?
A TSA spokesperson tells Eaze:
TSA’s focus is on terrorism and security threats to the aircraft and its passengers. TSA’s screening procedures, which are governed by federal law, are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. As has always been the case, if during the security screening process a TSA officer discovers an item that may violate the law, TSA refers the matter to law enforcement. Law enforcement officials will determine whether to initiate a criminal investigation or what steps – if any – will be taken.
No other California airports appear to have stated policies on allowing cannabis, including San Francisco. However, SFO airport security has been similarly hands-off when encountering personal-use amounts of cannabis moving through the airport.
While flying with cannabis will have inherent risks as long as federal prohibition stands, for now it seems you at least won’t find trouble while traveling through LAX.