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New Anti-Cannabis Signs at LAX Further Confuse Passengers on Complicated Local vs. Federal Laws

3:25 PM PDT on October 29, 2021

[dropcap size=big]T[/dropcap]o weed or not to weed?

That is the question confused cannabis connoisseurs are asking when it comes to traveling through LAX.

Shit’s legal, right? Locally, yes. Extremely.

But on the federal level, cannabis is still very much illegal to grow, use, possess, and sell, classified as a Schedule 1 drug, giving it the same status as heroin, LSD, GHB, and Bath Salts. This means it is technically not permitted in our airspace, which is governed by federal law.

Further twisting the matter, LAX allows people entering the airport to have herb on their person, making plain that this privilege ends with the TSA, who are not cops themselves but can summon them. Though weed-centered arrests have supposedly been on the upswing as casual cannabis use increases, the law enforcement that does get called to the scene tends to be concerned primarily with state law.

Now, new signage spread throughout the airport is trying to clear up any doubts about the matter, simultaneously doing its best to scare buddha-heads out of transporting herb across state lines under the threat of federal punishment.

They stand sentry near security checkpoints with the message:

“Traveling With Narcotics = Arrest. Narcotics includes concentrated cannabis, cannabis edibles, vapes, shatter, wax, and honey oil… Arrests may result in federal drug charges.” No other drugs are mentioned by name on the sign beside the plant-based one.

There is, of course, psychological power in signage. Stop. Slow down. Danger. Poison.

But there may be little power or motivation to actually enforce the message behind this one.

Attorney Omar Figueroa tells Cannabis Now that these signs can be credited to “drug war dinosaurs” who hate knowing that so much reefer flows through the airports. Throwbacks who simply want to scare people out of doing something they don’t approve of, by suggesting a passenger could get popped on their way to grandma's house for Thanksgiving or whatever.

William Kroger, a defense lawyer who handles marijuana cases both big and small, tells the site, “I don’t think the feds are going to get involved in little, itty bitty marijuana cases.”

Meaning, as long as you’re mindfully discrete, it should be pretty easy to sneak a little nug onto your plane. Where you want to be extra, super careful is in considering your destination.

Anyone who has ever landed in a foreign country with weed on their person only to be confronted with signs promising a quick death sentence to all drug offenders already knows this. Cough… or so we would imagine.

If you’re traveling somewhere with loose cannabis laws, like Nevada or Colorado, your risk of landing in extra deep doo-doo decreases. If you’re headed to Tennessee, where weed is still 100% illegal, you’re going to want to really watch your ass. You never know when some sneaky narc might spring a trap. If you’re going to a country that believes in execution for drug uses and drug dealers, think twice and think again.

Just be aware that while it does not sound routine for people to be arrested at LAX for carrying a little weed in their bag or on their person, it is technically something you can get in trouble for, necessitating an abundance of discretion should you be attempting it.

In any case, considering what happened at LAX yesterday, it sounds like everyone there could use something to take the edge off of their nerves.

And hey, listen LAX, we may know a guy who knows a guy…

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