For just one day, American airline passengers were given the go-ahead to bring medical marijuana on domestic flights. Earlier today, Tom Angell of MassRoots reported a surprising change to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines on Tuesday that allowed medical marijuana patients to bring their medicine aboard flights in America. But less than an hour after his post went live, those new guidelines were taken down and the TSA released an apology.
Angell's article posted a screen capture from the TSA's What Can I Bring? webpage that passengers could bring onboard medical marijuana as checked- or carry-on-luggage.
The image was accompanied by a blurb saying, “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.”
According to Angell, who broke the story via Twitter, "That means that depending on what state they are traveling from, patients might have to show their official ID cards or doctors’ recommendations to local cops, but then they’ll be able to travel on their way."
Sadly, that's not actually the case. Within an hour of Angell's story going live, the TSA pulled the medical marijuana information from their site and tweeted a retraction from their official account. (You can find a cached version of the deleted guidelines here.)
We’re sorry for any confusion. A mistake was made in the database of our new “What can I bring?” tool. 1/3— AskTSA (@AskTSA) April 5, 2017
While we have no regulations on transporting marijuana, possession is a crime under Federal law. 2/3— AskTSA (@AskTSA) April 5, 2017
Our officers aren't looking for illegal narcotics, but they have to report them to law enforcement when discovered. 3/3— AskTSA (@AskTSA) April 5, 2017
In other words, don't pack any marijuana -- for medical or recreational use -- while flying in America. Federal prohibition remains the law of the land and air, which means patients can't transport their medicine between states, even if they're visiting another jurisdiction that has legalized cannabis.
So for about a day, it looked like the Trump administration was about to offer substantial reform on the issue of marijuana. Instead, we're back to worrying about whether or not Attorney General Jeff Sessions - an ardent opponent of cannabis legalization - will begin a crackdown on legal states.