flying internationally with weed

Flying internationally with weed

The two largest countries that allow adults to purchase, possess, and consume recreational marijuana (cannabis), Canada and the US, have very different laws and regulations when it comes to air travel. Anyone who plans to travel by air in either of these two countries should be aware of some of those laws and regulations, as well as some of the important differences between how the two countries deal with recreational marijuana. The following are some of the questions that an air traveler may ask about marijuana when it comes to air travel in the US and Canada.

For some of the questions, the answers may be different depending on which country is involved.

Basic questions and answers

Can I bring marijuana to the airport?
US: Maybe. It is only legal to do so in those jurisdiction where it is legal to possess marijuana. It depends on what you plan on doing once you are at the airport. If you are flying and have to go past security screening, marijuana is not allowed. The secure part of the airport, which is the area beyond TSA screening, is under federal control, and marijuana is not allowed in any area under federal jurisdiction, including aircraft and aircraft boarding areas. If the airport is in a state that allows the possession of marijuana, the state or local jurisdiction may have less restrictive rules in the non-secure area of the airport. However, some airports may choose to ban marijuana from all airport property. If this is not the case, then you may possess marijuana so long as you stay outside of the secure areas of the airport and don’t go through the TSA screening stations.

Canada: Yes, but with one exception. Canada does not allow marijuana to cross any international border, so marijuana is not allowed in any section of the airport where you first have to pass through customs.

Can I bring marijuana on the plane?
US: No. You are not allowed to bring marijuana on the plane. All aircraft in the US operate under federal laws and regulation, and the transport of marijuana by air is prohibited.

Canada: Yes, but only if the aircraft is on a domestic flight within Canada. Marijuana is not allowed on any international flight to or from Canada.

What happens if my plane is diverted to the US or Canada?
US: The aircraft, including all passengers, crew, baggage, and cargo would be under US jurisdiction, and anyone in possession of marijuana may be subject to US laws, which could include, fines, arrest, and being refused entry into the US in the future.

Canada: It is illegal to import marijuana into Canada, so if you have marijuana or products containing marijuana with you, you must declare them to the Canada Border Services Agency

Can I put marijuana in a checked bag?
US: No. Marijuana is not allowed on an aircraft either in carry on bags, checked bags, or cargo. All aircraft in the US operate under federal laws and regulation, and the transport of marijuana by air is prohibited.

Canada: Yes, but only if the aircraft is on a domestic flight within Canada.

Can I mail or ship my marijuana before I get on the plane?
US: No. Federal law prohibits sending marijuana through the mail or through shipping services like FedEx and UPS. All aircraft in the US operate under federal laws and regulation, and the transport of marijuana by air is prohibited.

Canada: Yes. Marijuana can be mailed in Canada, but only to addresses within Canada.

Can I have my marijuana delivered by drone?
US: No. US federal law prohibits aircraft operators, including operators of drones, from carrying marijuana on that aircraft. This would be the case even if you are using your own personal drone. There are a number of US federal laws and regulations related to marijuana, many of which have potentially severe penalties for both the drone operator and the marijuana customer.

Canada: Other than crossing international borders, there are no specific restrictions on flying marijuana on a drone use other than the laws and regulations regarding recreational and commercial drone operations.

Can I fly after consuming marijuana?
US and Canada: Yes, but it may not be a good idea. While US and Canadian laws don’t prohibit passengers from flying under the influence of drugs, if you are intoxicated, your airline may prevent you from boarding your aircraft. Also, if you fly while intoxicated, you may not be able to react appropriately in emergency situations, and your behavior may be affected in a way that makes you a hazard to crew members and other passengers.

Because some forms of marijuana, particularly edible marijuana products, may take a while before the intoxicating effects are evident, if you consume marijuana shortly before getting on board, you may become intoxicated during the flight.

Can I smoke marijuana in a designated airport smoking area?
US: No. These smoking areas are public areas for smoking of tobacco products, not marijuana. Also, the states that do allow the consumption of marijuana typically prevent users from doing so in public view, including areas where the public is allowed to smoke of tobacco products.

Canada: Maybe. It will depend on the local laws and regulations.

Can I consume marijuana at the airport if I am not smoking it?
US and Canada: That will depend on the local laws applicable at that airport.

What is considered out of the public view at the airport?
US and Canada: That is up to the interpretation of the law enforcement organizations at that particular airport, and whether there are restrictions on the use of marijuana on airport property.

Can I fly with medical marijuana if I have a prescription?
US: No. Federal law does not allow any kind of marijuana, whether it is medical or recreational marijuana, on airliners or in the secure parts of the airport terminal (beyond the TSA screening stations), and it does not matter if you have a prescription for medical marijuana.

Canada: Yes, but only if the aircraft is on a domestic flight within Canada. Medical marijuana is treated the same as recreational marijuana, and is also not allowed on any international flight to or from Canada.

Am I allowed to fly into an airport with marijuana?
US: No. The US government does not allow marijuana aboard airliners, so if you have somehow managed to bring marijuana with you on your inbound flight, you have broken the law, and may be subject to arrest and prosecution by federal authorities.

Canada: Yes, but only if the flight was a domestic flight entirely within Canada.

Are non-citizens allowed to travel from overseas to consume marijuana?
US: Maybe. If your stated purpose of travel, either upon entry or when applying for a visa, is to consume or purchase marijuana, then you may be refused entry on your current trip and restricted from entry in the future. If the purpose of our visit is for another reason, once you enter the US, you are allowed to purchase and consume only in those states where it is legal to do so.

Canada: Yes. While there is no restriction on the part of Canadian authorities, you may be in violations of the laws or regulations of your home country, or of any country you enter after leaving Canada.

Can I enter or leave the country carrying marijuana-related items?
US: Maybe. Federal law prohibits the importation or export of any drug paraphernalia used to consume marijana. If you are not a US citizen, US authorities may confiscate items that are not not directly related to the use or production marijuana, for example clothing depicting marijuana plants.

Canada: Yes. So long as any items contain no trace of marijuana residue. Keep in mind that there may be restrictions in the country you departed prior to entering Canada.

Basic advice for avoiding or reducing baggage fees.

Smuggling weed is easy

It’s lucky airport security are so shit because Rockwell is the kind of smoker who can’t bare to fly without weed.

Every time I travel by plane to another country I always have weed on me. Gothenburg, Dublin, Barcelona, Malaga, Edinburgh and Narita, Japan. I don’t mean like kilos of the shit, but enough to know that I’m not going to even go a single day without weed in a foreign country that I wouldn’t be able to pick up in. The only two places I’ve not smuggled weed into are JFK and Bangkok. JFK because I was there on work and knew I could get weed in NY and Bangkok because I didn’t want my hands chopped off or whatever. Oh wait, that’s a lie. I did bring some weed to Bangkok I think, just a little though.

Aside from the comfort of having weed at your destination I guess there is also a bit of a rush going through security with up to half an ounce tightly wrapped, sprayed and taped to the inside of your boxers. The trick is to compress the weed as much as possible, wrap it in cling film, spray with deodorant or aftershave, wrap again, spray again, then wrap in tape tightly, (preferably masking tape as its paper exterior doesn’t really rustle or have any sharp edges). Once it’s well cocooned, tape it to the inside of your boxers about an inch down from the middle of the waistline. That way when you put your jeans on it’s kind of below your belt buckle and above your dick. That’s a total no-go zone for customs officers.

Make sure you have a belt that doesn’t set off the metal detector. I’ve no idea how you find that out, some do, some don’t, but I guess one made of hay is less likely to than one made of bullets. What you don’t want is to be body-searched, because despite your planning, all those years of dope smoke will conjure a paranoid, phantasmagorical cloud of dope and you’ll get convinced you’re going to prison for life. Try not to freak out though, they’ll only find it if you get strip-searched. Once a guy ran his fingers around the top of my belt and I swear I felt his fingers buckle on the top of the package but he then waved me through. I said then I’d never do it again, but hey.

In retrospect I think traveling to Tokyo with three different strains of weed a bit of a risk really. I didn’t have much, maybe 3 or so grammes; some Thai, some normal skunk and this Jamaican sensimilla that was the best weed I ever smoked. I had saved this shit especially for Japan. I was there for the World Cup and I wanted to be there. Like on the fucking bench there. Anyway, I got through Dublin fine and Paris as well. About four or five hours of restlessness into the flight though I had an anxiety attack or something and was like, “What the fuck am I doing. This is Japan! McCartney only got off on a pardon from the fucking government or something!” So I went to the jacks to flush it: “I’m definitely flushing it fuck it. It’s only a bit of weed, I’m with my dad, if he finds out he’ll fucking flip out.” So I paused Ali, or whatever movie they were showing in 2002, went to the toilet, dropped my boxers and was like, “Hold on a sec, this is a bad move.” I spent about ten minutes talking myself in-and-out of doing it then finally I just said to myself, “Fuck it, fuck them if they can’t take a joke’.

This next bit I remember clear as if it happened yesterday. We went through customs and got our passports stamped. But, before we got to leave we had our baggage checked. That’s cool, it’s in my boxers isn’t it you dickheads? But they had it very well choreographed. There were about eight checkpoints, each had one had an inspector and behind him, a guy on the door who looked like something out of the fucking A-Team. His role was maybe to detect any odd behaviour from people holding illegal substances, like me. My dad was just ahead of me, but by this point I was fucking retarded; tired, disorientated and now a bit prang. My dad turns to me and says, “Hey, you got any contraband on you?”, I’m like, “Er, yep, you?’ He turns to me and says, “Sure.” We got to the front of the queue and the guy looked at us, and then pulled out this massive flashcard. It was covered in all types of gnarly mushrooms, “Got any of these in you luggage?” he asked. Man, I almost fucking wet myself while shaking my head. They looked in our bags and off we went, weed in my boxers and hash in my dad’s Johnny-pocket.

Recently though I’ve been more reluctant about taking a lot of weed with me as there are sniffer dogs at a few airports. But, to be honest I’ll always have that cheeky gramme or two hidden away, ready to be puffed in a non-smoking hotel-room with a wet towel at the bottom of the door and the air-con on full. Really, taking personal amounts of weed through customs is fine if you know what you’re doing, just don’t try bringing back a 100 grammes from Amsterdam in your luggage. Even if it is vacuum packed.

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