Bad news for people traveling to cannabis-friendly destinations in the U.S.: Just because it’s legal in your state, doesn’t mean you can fly with it.
Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in Illinois, travelers are asking the question: Can a bring it with me if I buy it legally? The simple answer is no.
Because the federal law states that it is still illegal, travelers cannot carry their cannabis products on flights, even if it’s legal in the departing and/or arriving state, The Points Guy reported. The one exception is Los Angeles International Airport, where you can take cannabis products as long as you are traveling to a state that has legalized marijuana.
This is why Illinois is allowing travelers to rid themselves of any marijuana in safe “cannabis amnesty boxes” at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, according to USA Today.
Thanks to this new addition, travelers in Chicago can now enjoy their recreational marijuana until the very last minute that they’re in the city. And if you have some remaining, you can dispose of it in the bright, blue boxes before heading to the security line at no risk.
“The boxes, placed at the end of every TSA checkpoint at both O'Hare and Midway, were in place once the new cannabis law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The boxes are where travelers can safely dispose of cannabis and cannabis products prior to travel, as they still remain illegal under federal law,” Maggie Huynh, spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department, told USA Today.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the police department will routinely check the boxes, write an inventory for anything they find, and then get rid of the products as they would with narcotics.
These same amnesty boxes are installed in other airports in states where recreational cannabis is legal, including Colorado Springs Airport and Aspen Pitkin County Airport in Colorado and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, according to USA Today. Denver International Airport does not have them installed.
If you find yourself traveling to Chicago, this should give you peace of mind. As for marijuana use past the security line, you may be out of luck. The TSA only allows CBD for medical purposes, as long as the product is derived from hemp (rather than from cannabis).
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