If you’re a pot enthusiast traveling out of Los Angeles International Airport, the question of where you can legally carry marijuana in the airport is slightly complicated.
After the internet discovered that LAX’s rules allow travelers to carry weed, within the state’s legal limit, the Los Angeles Times sought to clarify these regulations for potentially overexcited passengers.
Let’s start with what is allowed: passengers and visitors to LAX can carry marijuana — up to the California legal limit of up to 28.5 grams — through the airport up until the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint areas. TSA areas, and the sky, are subject to federal laws, which prohibits carrying marijuana.
What will the TSA do if they find marijuana in your bag? Here, passengers with carry-on cannabis might find a complication that works in their favor.
The TSA told the Times that if a TSA officer finds substances, like pot, that violate federal law, they turn the issue over to local law officials, specifically Airport Police. In turn, Airport Police spokeswoman Alicia Hernandez told the Times, “We are California peace officers and we enforce California law, so if we come across individuals carrying substances that are legal under state law, there is nothing we will do.”
It might seem like a win for those looking to travel with pot, but bringing marijuana into a security checkpoint still breaks federal law despite the local law enforcement loophole. Even though you may not get arrested for having weed in your bag, TSA officers also won’t just wave you through security — meaning you probably won’t be bringing your weed on the plane. And no matter what, passengers’ destinations will abide by their own state laws. The TSA’s statement about turning over pot to local enforcement applies at your destination, too, opening up the risk of jail time for travelers.