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Man Tests Tsa Policy Allowing Patients To Fly With With Medical Marijuana


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Here are some recent articles about Airports tolerating Medical Marijuana transport.

I regularly travel from CA to MI. From the articles it seems like I should

be able to bring up to 8 oz in checked or carry-on baggage when I travel back and forth.

 

They also seem to indicate that between origin and destination, your luggage

is not in federal jurisdiction, so even if they are layovers in non-tolerant

places, your luggage is never actually in that state, rather it is in-transit

in care of the airline.

 

Does anyone have experience with this new attitude?

 

-iWombat

 

 

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http://www.safeaccessnow.org/article.php?id=5823

 

Medical marijuana patients can travel with pot from SFO, other Bay Area airports

by Mike Rosenberg, San Mateo County Times

October 22nd, 2009

 

Considering the haziness surrounding medical marijuana laws, it may be surprising that some of the most uptight places in the Bay Area — local airports — are also some of the most laid back when it comes to medical pot patients.

 

San Francisco police, who patrol San Francisco International Airport, say they allow card-holding medical marijuana patients to carry up to 8 ounces of dried cannabis when traveling. The SFO policy follows the guidelines police use within the city of San Francisco, said Sgt. Wilfred Williams.

 

Then-San Francisco police Chief Heather Fong enacted the policy in November 2008 through a three-page bulletin to officers. It instructs officers to leave medical marijuana patients and their drugs alone if they are using the marijuana for medical purposes and not for criminal activity.

 

And when it comes to air travel, local police — not airport officials or federal authorities — determine which passengers can fly with medical pot.

 

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Suzanne Trevino said airport security officers are trained to check for dangerous items such as explosives when screening departing passengers, their carry-on bags and checked luggage.

 

TSA officers sometimes find items such as drugs and child pornography, however, and turn them over to local law enforcement, which decides what to do with the items and the passenger, Trevino said. If the local police force allows the passenger to keep their medical marijuana, the TSA would not stop them from traveling with the drug, she said.

 

Likewise, SFO spokesman Mike McCarron said officials at the transportation hub have nothing to do with enforcement of medical marijuana laws at the airport.

 

At Mineta San Jose International Airport, enforcement of medical marijuana laws is left to San Jose police, said airport spokesman David Vossbrink.

 

San Jose police Sgt. Ronnie Lopez said they also do not arrest or cite passengers with medical marijuana at the airport or seize their drugs. They do, however, write a report and send it to federal authorities, who determine whether to file charges, he said.

 

In years past, that may have posed a problem to medical marijuana travelers, but the Justice Department this week told its U.S. attorneys to back off prosecuting medical marijuana users who comply with state law.

 

In the East Bay, the Alameda County Sherriff's Office enacted a specific policy last year that allows medical marijuana users to travel from Oakland International Airport with the drug. As at SFO, a qualified patient or primary caregiver as defined by California law can carry up to 8 ounces during travel out of Oakland.

 

Of course, just because passengers are allowed to take their marijuana out of the Bay Area does not give them full immunity from prosecution, as more than 30 states ban medical marijuana. If a Bay Area traveler lands in a place where the drug is illegal, they could be prosecuted by state authorities.

 

Alameda County deputies notify passengers flying out of Oakland that they could be violating the law if they land in one of the many states that ban medical marijuana. But they have never called ahead to notify police on the other end.

 

Despite the policies, many patients are hesitant to travel out of local airports with their medical marijuana, said Nathan Sands, vice president of the Compassionate Coalition, a Fairfield-based nonprofit medical pot advocacy group. Airports have gained a reputation, particularly following the Sept. 11 attacks, for confiscating normally legal items, such as liquids, at TSA security gates.

 

"I think a lot of patients have been fearful of traveling through airports with medical marijuana because of the federal involvement," Sands said. "And you don't want to be hassled at the airports."

 

And although patients rely on their marijuana like they do any other medication, it may be intimidating for a traveler flying to a state where the drug is banned, Sands said.

 

"It'd be hard to expect the law enforcement there to be sympathetic," he said.

 

Kris Hermes, spokesman for the Oakland-based advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, argued a national policy would allow pot patients to avoid the patchwork of individual airport rules.

 

"It's clearly a good thing that airports such as Oakland and SFO allow patients to be able to travel with their medicine. That's a positive policy," Hermes said. "Some patients cannot be without their medicine for more than a few hours."

 

 

___________________________________________________

 

 

http://www.alternet.org/story/143345/

 

Got Pot? It's Legal to Take It on the Plane in Oakland

 

Oakland International Airport may be the nation's only airport with a specific policy letting users of medical marijuana travel with the drug.

October 19, 2009 |

 

Oakland International Airport may be the nation's only airport with a specific policy letting users of medical marijuana travel with the drug.

 

The policy is spelled out in a three-page document quietly enacted last year by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. It states that if deputies determine someone is a qualified patient or primary caregiver as defined by California law and has eight ounces or less of the drug, he or she can keep it and board the plane.

 

Deputies warn the pot-carrying passengers that they may be committing a felony upon arrival when they set foot in a jurisdiction where medical marijuana is not recognized. But they say they don't call ahead to alert authorities on the other end.

 

"We never have. We're certainly within our right to, but we never have," said Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. "Our notification of the passengers is for their own safety and well-being."

 

California voters approved medical marijuana use in 1996, while federal law still bans all possession and use.

 

But Oakland attorney Robert Raich notes the Code of Federal Regulations says a prohibition on operating a civil aircraft with knowledge that there is marijuana aboard doesn't apply to carrying marijuana that's "authorized by or under any Federal or State statute."

 

The federal Transportation Security Administration does the screening and when marijuana — or any suspected contraband — is found, the sheriff's deputies are summoned.

 

Low Profile

 

Oakland's airport policy was enacted in February 2008, but Raich said he didn't want to publicize it until recently lest the Bush administration change federal regulations, or lest it become an issue in Obama administration drug officials' confirmation hearings.

 

"All other airports in medical cannabis states should have similar policies but they don't," he said, adding that he hears San Francisco International and Los Angeles International airports are relatively kind to medical marijuana users while airports in Burbank, Ontario and San Diego are not.

 

Raich, who has seen two of his medical marijuana cases argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and has taught Oakland Police cadets about medical marijuana issues, said medical marijuana users generally didn't have much trouble when Oakland Police used to patrol inside the airport terminals. But that changed when the Alameda County Sheriff's Office took over in mid-2007. That summer TSA screeners referred to deputies a traveling medical-marijuana user from Washington state.

 

"The sheriff's deputies so harassed this person, it was heart-wrenching," Raich said. "They took his medicine, they broke his bong, they took his edibles. They were threatening him."

 

'Pinball machine'

 

Raich said he found that the sheriff's office was unwilling to change its policy. So he consulted various officials including those at the Port of Oakland, which owns and operates the airport.

 

"I felt like a ball in a pinball machine," he said. "I felt like I'd talked to every single employee at the port and they all seemed sympathetic but they all told me the same thing: 'That's not our policy "... that's the sheriff doing that on his own.' "

 

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http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/item.aspx?type=blog&ak=620000291.blog

 

Medical marijuana allowed at SFO, Bay Area airports

 

Medical marijuana patients can now travel with the drug through San Francisco International Airport, as well as other Bay Area airports, the Mercury News reports.

 

Passengers who are card-carrying patients are permitted to carry up to 8 ounces of dried cannabis, in compliance with San Francisco city policy. It is up to the city's police, who patrol the airport, not the airport officials or TSA officers, to decide if a passenger can travel with the pot.

 

In the past, police at SFO and San Jose airport were told to make the call on whether the passenger could travel with the drugs, but a report was likely filed to federal authorities who then decided whether or not to follow up with charges. But this week that all changed as the Department of Justice directed US attorneys to leave passengers alone traveling with the drug if they are in compliance with state laws.

 

Nathan Sands, vice president of the Compassionate Coalition, a Fairfield-based nonprofit medical pot advocacy group, told the Mercury News that despite technically being able to fly with medical marijuana, passengers are often too fearful of airport officials and police to bother traveling with the drug.

 

"It's clearly a good thing that airports such as Oakland and SFO allow patients to be able to travel with their medicine. That's a positive policy," Kris Hermes, spokesman for the Oakland-based advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, told the Mercury News. "Some patients cannot be without their medicine for more than a few hours."

 

Of course, patients using the drug should consult the state laws of their final destination. More than 30 states do not allow the use of medical marijuana, and if a Bay Area traveler transports the drug to one of those states--despite being able to leave the area with it--they could be prosecuted by local officials upon landing. --Rebecca Heslin

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Good luck when you land. It may be safe in the bay, but hell if you've ever been to the bay you don't even need a card to smoke openly lol, nobody out there cares. However I don't see Metro airport taking to kindly to a luggage bag full of marijuana. Give it a shot, let me know how it works for you lol. Also Cali doesn't honor other states cards.

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By the way, I have a California State Medical Marijuana Card which is good

in California and Michigan (one of the few states that honors other states

valid MM ID's).

 

My MM doctor here advised me to just carry it on the plane with me.

He said he has been stopped several times and TSA in CA just handed

it back to him, saying they were looking for bombs and such.

 

Myself, I have carried it in my checked baggage many times and have

never had a problem. At Metro, I usually stop in baggage claim, open

my suitcase, and pull out a joint to smoke at the curbside while

waiting for my pickup. Never been bothered, though I admit this

is a little adventurous.

 

Now that more states have MM laws, airports seem to be beginning

to address the issue of MM transport more directly so that patients

don't have to fear being treated like criminals while traveling between

legal states.

 

-iWombat

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"Myself, I have carried it in my checked baggage many times and have

never had a problem. At Metro, I usually stop in baggage claim, open

my suitcase, and pull out a joint to smoke at the curbside while

waiting for my pickup. Never been bothered, though I admit this

is a little adventurous."

 

haha u got ballz bro

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My friends work for Northwest at Metro and they tell me to bring some. Nothing will happen if you have a card. They can only "hold" it for you if they find it. As for dogs I have personally been petting a sniffing dog while I had 3 joints in my coat. Now my friends told me that the dog was a bomb sniffing dog. But then they said they are trained for fruit, drugs and bombs. From personal experience the dogs are not as good as LEO claims they are. They are trained to "hit" when the officer signals giving the cops just cause.

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San Diego is an extremely paranoid place, being so close to Mexico and Los Angeles probly has a lot to do with it, I think. I'm not surprised they're unkind to MM patients at their airport. I hope the patients living there know not to travel with it. Whenever I was there, the tension was obvious and it made me paranoid. The place is being ruined, gotten too big, nice weather though.

 

Sb

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Its just like traveling with a gun. You need to "check in" your stuff, call ahead and let them know the situation. Ive heard DTW will allow it, and i personally know California residents that have gotten on airplanes with MM out of San Fran and Oakland. While the bay area airports are the only airports to actually put something on paper about being MM friendly, i have heard alot of other airports are friendly to it in Cali, so long as your not trying to smuggle it on.

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Hmmm WOW

Interesting...

I have a good friend in LA still (I used to live there)

 

Perhaps I should go get some medicine from him, he always had the best

medical grade around when it first started there.

 

I also have a good friend in SF and visiting him may be the safer bet.

 

I still need to research this a bit more as it could be well worth a trip there

to bring home a 1/2 pd for myself and my patients. I still worry about checking it

though... Still a bit paranoid I guess haha... I used to travel with it all the time

pre 9/11

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I smoked hash once with a fellow traveler back in the day, on a nonstop flight to Chicago. Try that today and you're likely to have an air marshal slap cuffs on you right then and there. One other thing to consider, if you have a one-way ticket you get double screened. Your checked (cargo) baggage is likely to be x-rayed and opened in front of you like a customs inspection. That happened to me at DFW. And going through customs, always be friendly, make eye contact and smile smile smile.

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I know people who have had issues sending it via fed ex.

 

Packages have not arrived, packages have arrived opened with that part taken out and one person

had a driver show up and say they needed a signature... He said I have no clue what this is or who sent

it so please just return it to sender, I can't accept it and they then came from around the corner (2 cops)

and tried to get him to say he knew what it was or who sent it (he is an atty) he just said I have no clue, I have

a meeting to go to so you can either take me in and if so I do not want to talk till I have an atty present or you

can stop harassing me.

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They are trained to "hit" when the officer signals giving the cops just cause.

 

I agree with you vender. The canine narc dogs are used to have "probable cause".

 

a half a pound seems like a lot to travel with. It is very considerate that the airports are treating MM patients the way that they should be treated, and letting them fly with a suit case full of buds.

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I have a friend that recently went to the Kalamzoo Airport, he was going through security and 2 KZOO police officers came up to him and said they needed to talk to him. He replied "what about my marijuana" they responded yes. He got out his wallet and showed them his card and said he need to go because his plane was about to board, they let him go with no problems. Just thought I would share.

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I have a friend of a friend whose sisters aunts cousins step sons sister

 

Just kidding

 

That is GREAT to hear!

 

Just curious where was his flight going? Was it in State, to a MMJ friendly state? Did he have a scrip where he was going?

 

Again, just curious to know

 

Thanks and your friend musta felt like a king walking on air getting on that plane

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Any updates?

 

Id really like to know if anyone has heard about what would happen on the Detroit Metro end of things?

 

I don't really see why it would be a problem. As long as the airport you leave from doesn't care, Detroit will never know. When was the last time you got searched upon arrival or at any point during a domestic flight? If it were international, that would be another thing since you'd have to deal with Customs and go through security again, but in all my flying experience, I don't think I've ever been searched or gone through security on arrival.

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I was waiting on the runway for 30 min 3 weeks ago in Atlanta while a "dept of homeland security" officer and his trusty K-9 went sniffing around the area. They never came onto the plane directly (interior cabin) but they wernt out there playing catch for those 30 min either. All seemed well though, i didnt see them take any bags. Once we finally pushed away from the tunnel, the officer and dog went up the steps and inside the airport.

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