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Can I Fly Out of LAX with Marijuana?

As of January 2018, it is legal to possess and consume recreational marijuana in California. However, you may be wondering if it is legal to travel with cannabis from California.

According to officials at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), travelers are allowed to bring small amounts of legal pot in their carry-on bags through security. You must be at least 21 years old to possess up to 28.5 grams (a little over an ounce) of flower cannabis and eight grams of concentrated cannabis.

Yet, you are not allowed to smoke marijuana at the airport. Additionally, your destination state or country must be a location where recreational marijuana is legal.

Besides California, the following are the states that legalized recreational cannabis:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.

Here are several countries that have legalized recreational marijuana:

  • Canada
  • Netherlands (although it is illegal to possess or consume cannabis in the country, local law enforcement doesn't criminalize it)
  • Peru
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Uruguay

Federal Law Still Considers Cannabis a Schedule I Drug

While the Los Angeles Police Department permits LAX passengers to carry legal marijuana, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the federal government still consider cannabis a Schedule I controlled substance, like cocaine, heroin, and LSD. Even though TSA prioritizes security threats like firearms and explosives, if a TSA agent finds pot during a security check, he/she will report it to airport police, who will ultimately decide if the passenger can travel with cannabis.

Local law enforcement officers are tasked with preventing suspected drug traffickers from trying to get through security with a carry-on and checked bags full of marijuana. On the other hand, small amounts are typically permissible.

Were you preparing to board a flight out of LAX when you were arrested for carrying marijuana in your luggage? If the answer is yes, contact Wilfert Law P.C. today at 805-324-6777. With decades of legal experience, our legal team can do our best to help you avoid serious criminal penalties.