Read Before Boarding: LAX “Updates” Weed Policy

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Given that a simple can of shaving cream can earn you a pat-down by handsy Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, it came as hugely welcome news that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) travelers can carry marijuana throughout the 3,500-acre  facility — and even board flights with their stash.

Word of the policy spread through social media like wildfire Sept. 26, 2018, causing some to heap praise and some to throw skepticism. A Reddit post announcing that “LAX now allows passengers to travel with marijuana under California’s Proposition 64” was posted the same day, and received more than 8,000 votes and 1,000 comments in less than 48 hours. Los Angeles cultivators Jungle Boys posted a screenshot of LAX’s policy page on Instagram and received nearly 20,000 likes.

This may come as somewhat of a surprise to some, but LAX has allowed travellers to carry marijuana since January 2018. That’s nearly a whole year, folks.

Somehow, the policy has flown under the radar to many would-be travelers. Despite major news outlets reporting on California’s travel policy, and despite a history-making law finally going into effect regarding cannabis possession, evidently it still came as a surprise that a major airport might actually have a real policy to reflect an enormous legal change. Go figure.

In February 2018, USA Today reported that the Los Angeles Airport Police would not charge anyone possessing legal medical or recreational marijuana, even if they were stopped by TSA agents — don’t forget that marijuana is still a Schedule I drug and illegal at the federal level. Same goes for John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

The Los Angeles Times reported that airport police handle marijuana possession in a manner consistent with Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) policies. The Times also reported that at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), if TSA agents stop travellers with marijuana, the airport police let the travelers be on their way if they’re within legal age and possession limits for Washington state.

It was way back in April 2018 when LAX updated its marijuana policy. Aptly titled “LAX Marijuana Policy,” it states that since California’s passage of Proposition 64, travellers 21 and older may possess the California law’s limit of 1 ounce, or 28.3 grams, of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrates. That was a fact that Tom Angell, Marijuana Moment’s editor-in-chief and a former Marijuana.com writer, was only too pleased to point out on Twitter.

LAX has served more than 41 million total domestic passengers between January and August 2018. How many grams of flower have been needlessly discarded in bathroom trash cans or hidden in underwear? Tragically, we may never know.

While the whole not-so-new-but-new-to-us policy and social media chatter was several months late, the “news” was kind of fun to watch unfold among cannabis-centric circles.

And there’s a silver lining: if you’re flying within California, there’s no need to get creative or weird to smuggle your weed onto a plane.

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