If you missed this morning’s news on TSA’s major changes, read all about them here.
In short, the TSA updated their site on Tuesday, replacing a “Prohibited Items” page with a “What Can I Bring?” one. An interesting inclusion on the new page was medical marijuana, which was listed as approved for both checked baggage and carry-on. Once news spread Wednesday morning, the TSA suddenly pulled the entire medical marijuana listing from the page. When there was an immediate backlash to the disappearance on social media, TSA then added the medical marijuana listing back onto the alphabetical guide, but this time with bright red “NO” distinctions for both carry-on and checked luggage.
I reached out to the TSA for clarification as to why their stance on medical marijuana abruptly changed, and then went back suddenly.
TSA statement: “There was an error in the database of a new search tool that is now corrected. While we have no regulations on possessing/transporting marijuana, possession is a crime under Federal law. Our officers are not looking for illegal narcotics, but they have to report them to law enforcement when discovered.”
I followed-up by asking about states with medical marijuana laws in place and why travelers would be banned from carrying medicine if law enforcement wouldn’t be able to arrest and TSA agents weren’t looking for it.
TSA: “TSA has no regulations on possessing/transporting marijuana.”
The question remained, why then would the TSA site now state that bringing medical marijuana in either checked or carry-on bags was prohibited if there are no regulations in place?
TSA: “Whether or not marijuana is considered legal under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law. Federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.”
I have asked for more details about the “error” that occurred but have not received a response at this time. We’ll keep you updated as the story develops.