Recently, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that it would allow marijuana users to bring their weed on board domestic and international flights, including flights to and from New York City. This makes New York City the fourth city in the nation to approve the use of marijuana on a commercial flight, and it also makes the city of New York the first to allow marijuana on a plane flying to or from the city.
Around 30 U.S. airports have now approved the use of marijuana on flights, including 23 in Colorado, where recreational sales of cannabis began this year. On Wednesday, a spokesman from Denver International Airport said the Mile High City’s airport has now joined those that now allow pot on board.
New York City’s airports are the latest to accept marijuana from licensed medical marijuana patients.
New York authorized the possession of up to three ounces of recreational marijuana by individuals 21 and older in March. Additionally, you may now consume up to 24 grams of cannabis concentrate. Following the legalization of marijuana, police enforcement at New York’s airports has been outspoken in softening its position on marijuana-carrying travelers.
When questioned whether the Port Authority would confiscate marijuana or arrest passengers carrying small quantities, the Authority merely said that it would “follow state laws.”
According to a Port Authority spokesman, “New Yorkers 21 and older may possess, acquire, and carry up to three ounces of cannabis.” “As a result, in New York airports, PAPD does not issue tickets, confiscate property, or make arrests for this amount.”
Bart R. Johnson, the federal security director for 15 upstate airports, spoke with the Times Union about the new policy. Officers in charge of airports, according to Johnson, are just not searching for marijuana at this time.
“We don’t take it.” We only search for threats like bombs, knives, and firearms, not unlawfully held narcotics,” Johnson told the Times Union. “When we see anything suspect on a pat-down or something like that, and it turns out to be marijuana… As a result, we’re investigating to determine whether it’s a danger…. We will inform law police if it turns out to be anything that seems to be an illegal substance.”
Sheriff Craig Apple is in charge of Albany County, which is where Johnson is stationed. Sheriff Apple said that his deputies monitor the airport and have been called in by the Transportation Security Administration in the past when TSA officers discover a passenger in possession of marijuana. Even today, federal law mandates that the TSA inform local law enforcement whenever screening agent discovers what seems to be an unlawful drug.
The TSA explains in a Medical Marijuana section of its website that “marijuana and certain cannabis infused products, including some Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, remain illegal under federal law except for products that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis or that are approved by FDA.”
Marijuana is still prohibited on the federal level, therefore the TSA considers it contraband. The TSA, however, is not a law enforcement organization, therefore it must call the police or the Sheriff’s Office.
Before marijuana was legalized in New York, Sheriff Apple said that hundreds of individuals were ticketed or jailed every year for marijuana possession after being stopped by the TSA. Even if deputies are summoned to the security checkpoint these days, they give the marijuana a quick look and if it seems to be less than three ounces, they let the individual leave without issuing a citation or arresting them.
However, even the TSA seems to be softening its position. The TSA uploaded a photo of marijuana plants on Instagram in April 2019, when legal marijuana was still a pipe dream in New York, with the comment, “Are we cool?” We want to think of ourselves as cool.”
The hashtags #marijuana and #420 were also used in the tweet by the agency. And if you see one of the TSA’s 300 K9 officers strolling about inspecting baggage, know that the dogs are searching for explosives, not marijuana.
Lines of state
The more lax stance regarding cannabis transit in New York may be ok inside the state, and therefore within the airports. Transportation of cannabis, on the other hand, is still a felony. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act of the state still makes it illegal to carry specific amounts of marijuana without a license. Possessing, using, exhibiting, buying, acquiring, producing, shipping, or distributing cannabis paraphernalia or concentrated cannabis paraphernalia to any individual twenty-one years of age or older is likewise prohibited under the state’s legislation.
Furthermore, the federal government considers cannabis to be unlawful. As a consequence, carrying marijuana over state borders may lead to federal criminal penalties, which are much more severe than state-level offenses.
On February 22, 2021, marijuana became legal in New Jersey. Three laws decriminalized marijuana, legalized it, and established rules for a recreational cannabis industry, solidifying this position. Because certain agencies deal with travel between the two states, it’s unclear if New York’s more lenient approach to cannabis transit will be extended to its neighboring state. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, for example, is in charge of five airports, a shared seaport, the PATH train system, and six distinct tunnels and bridges that link the Big Apple with the Garden State.
This is a rising trend.
This isn’t the first time that news like this has surfaced in the wake of cannabis legalization in New York.
When marijuana was legalized in Massachusetts in 2016, the state’s Port Authority stated that you may theoretically carry marijuana into the airport under the state’s new legislation. If the TSA discovers the marijuana, the agent will call Massachusetts State Police, who will let you leave if the officer determines that you are over 21 and have less than an ounce of cannabis. TSA and police claim they wouldn’t seize anything, and you’d still be permitted on the aircraft.
In Colorado, “cannabis-amnesty boxes” were placed at the Colorado Springs and Aspen/Pitkin County airports. Those were supposed to be used by individuals to get rid of their marijuana before approaching the security line. Between 2014 and 2020, people destroyed approximately 37 pounds of marijuana at the Colorado Springs Airport.
Despite the fact that cannabis is now legal in Nevada, amnesty boxes can be seen outside of terminals at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. At 2020, the boxes were also installed in Chicago O’Hare and Midway airports, at the conclusion of each TSA screening at the international hubs. Even yet, local cops say they won’t disturb you if the quantity of marijuana you’re carrying is within the state’s legal limits.
• Earlier this month, the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) finally lifted a ban on travelers bringing marijuana on commercial flights, allowing passengers to carry up to one ounce of weed on board in their carry-on bag. • An FAA spokesperson told the Associated Press, “Commercial airlines in the U.S. are allowed to have drug-free flight policies, but these policies do not apply to TSA.” • Although the federal government still considers cannabis to be a Schedule I drug, both Alaska and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana and cannabis residents of Oregon and the District of Columbia can legally carry up to 1 ounce of weed in their possession, while Colorado and Washington have legalized both recreational and medicinal marijuana.. Read more about jfk airport weed policy and let us know what you think.
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