Can I bring a vape pen containing a cannabis oil cartridge in my carry-on bag on a flight within (departing & arriving) California? I don't have a medical card.

I realize that it is very likely to be dismissed as a normal e-cig but I'm curious what risks are involved & the potential legal consequences.

I am asking specifically about recreational in California, not medicinal or other states.

  • 19
    Don't do it. I live in Denver and they're constantly warning us that airports are federal territory, and that federal laws apply. Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. Mar 5 '18 at 21:08
  • 4
    @DonPeat - It's not TSA you're worried about. It's the patrolling ATF, DEA, drug dogs, and other law enforcement agencies. They do not make you throw it away, they arrest you because possession is illegal. Possession of enough and they hit you with "intent to sell." Mar 5 '18 at 22:54
  • 4
    It's legal in the state. But the airport is federal territory. It's been legal in Colorado since we ratified an amendment to our constitution in '08 but that hasn't stopped federal law enforcement. Federal agencies have their own agendas and reasons to do things. Mar 5 '18 at 23:29
  • 4
    It seems like an inordinate waste of time/energy for everyone involved. This is the War on Drugs we're talking about... Mar 5 '18 at 23:56
  • 6
    This comment thread might be more for Law.SE. I don't think it's really a question of "federal territory" or "jurisdiction" - the DEA has the legal authority to enforce federal law everywhere in the US. They currently choose not to prioritize enforcing marijuana laws in those states that have legalized it. But they are legally free to make whatever exceptions they like - if they want to prioritize enforcement at airports, or for that matter bagel shops or amusement parks, they can. Mar 6 '18 at 0:46

Transportation Security Administration What Can I Bring?

Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Devices

The FAA prohibits these devices in checked bags. Battery-powered E-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, atomizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems may only be carried in the aircraft cabin (in carry-on baggage or on your person). Check with your airline for additional restrictions. Remove all electronic cigarette and vaping devices from carry-on bags if checked at the gate or planeside.

Carry on bags: Yes
Checked bags: No

Medical Marijuana

Possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products, such as Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, is illegal under federal law. TSA officers are required to report any suspected violations of law, including possession of marijuana and cannabis infused products. TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but in the event a substance that appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.

Carry on bags: No
Checked bags: No

  • @DonPeat Civilian airports are not generally federal property. There could be exceptions, but all the airports I know are not. JFK, for example, is owned by New York City and leased by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
    – phoog
    Jul 26 '18 at 22:34
  • @Don Peat, your quote indicates that TSA will refer to a law enforcement officer. "Law enforcement officer" definitionally includes federal cops like ICE, DEA, ATF, etc., whom we know are often around and about in airports. Carrying there sure doesn't seem prudent to me. Jul 27 '18 at 0:31
  • 1
    @Don Peat, I would have little risk tolerance for this. Your tolerance may differ. Jul 27 '18 at 2:50
  • @DonPeat, absence of proof isn't evidence (I'm a retired lawyer). If you're comfortable with your reasoning, carry away. You may well sail through w/o difficulty. I'll watch from the sidelines. Jul 27 '18 at 22:19
  • @DonPeat, funny we're both in Santa Cruz. Jul 27 '18 at 23:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy