The TSA Won't Actively Search For Your Stash Before You Board A Plane, But...

Some people swear they've had zero issues travelling with medical marijuana - for others, it's an absolute nightmare. But what protocol do TSA agents actually follow for cannabis when they're screening your bags?

According to the Transport Security Administration's (TSA) official site, updated last year, security officers "do not search for marijuana or other drugs." Sounds good, right? But even if they're not actively looking for it, you can expect them to call over law enforcement if they do find a couple of grams during security screening.

"Whether or not marijuana is considered legal under local law is not relevant to TSA screening," according to the agency, "because TSA is governed by federal law." And under federal law, even medical cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug.

Interestingly, the Portland International Airport allows travellers to fly with a legal amount of marijuana, provided they're not leaving the state. But even that seemingly-chill policy doesn't mean you won't have to deal with police: according to PDX, if an agent finds cannabis in your bag, they'll still call over law enforcement to make sure you're within the legal limit, of age, and not actually flying out of state.

If everything checks out, you'll (in theory) be allowed to proceed; however, writes the TSA, "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."

What about pre-gaming? Well, as long as you're discrete, that's probably up to you - provided you don't pull a Seth Rogen.

Banner image: TSA lines at Denver International Airport, Colorado. (Arina P. Habich / Shutterstock.com)

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