A major issue with marijuana legalization involves transportation. While recreational cannabis may be legal in certain states, visitors who purchase the drug cannot legally take it back to their home states. Well, it turns out you may be able to take marijuana onto a plane thanks to an obscure 1970s law.
In 1972, the Federal Aviation Administration revised a rule involving pilots operating planes with illegal narcotics on board. It stated that pilots were not supposed to fly if illegal substances were on board, but the rule “does not apply to any carriage of narcotic drugs, marihuana, and depressant or stimulant drugs or substances authorized by or under any Federal or State statute or by any Federal or State agency.”
Marijuana is specifically listed in the substances that can be allowed as long as they're allowed under federal or state law. Obviously, there are a handful of states with legal marijuana now, which indicates that cannabis purchased in those states or taken to those states could be allowed on planes.
Marijuana Moment reached out to several legalization experts, and found that none of them had heard of the 1972 rule.
It's unclear if the rule was instituted in anticipation for the legalization of marijuana and other drugs or if it was meant to allow law enforcement to bring seized substances onto flights. But either way this rule could lead to some interesting discussions on whether the TSA's policies are transporting marijuana on flights are actually legal. Perhaps this could be a weird law that many years later changes how marijuana can be transported.
But until there's more legal basis, it would still be wise to avoid bringing your stash until your next flight.