Every now and then I like to share little snippets of things I see when traveling. I especially enjoy sharing stories of “things not to do when traveling” based on first hand things I’ve seen. A great example of this is a prior post about not eating fruit in a customs line where they’re asking you if you’re bringing fruit into the country and you indicate that you aren’t.
In a similar fashion, today’s post begins in the customs line at LAX and it’s actually a funny story. Well, funny for me, probably fairly terrible for the person in question.
Traveling With Cannabis
We’re living in weird times. Possession of marijuana in the United States is decriminalized and in many states medical marijuana is legal to use. Additionally, in fewer states, recreational marijuana use is legal. In states like Oregon, Washington, and now California you can go into a dispensary and buy pot. All you need is a photo ID which proves your of legal age. Pretty wild, huh.
Well, while recreational pot is legal, it is still mostly illegal to fly with it. I say mostly because there are a few, very rare, circumstances where flying with pot is legal. For example, it’s legal to fly with recreational marijuana on “intrastate” flights in states where weed is legal. So, in theory, it’s legal to fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco with a bag of sweet sweet OG kush and no one can do anything about it. I still can’t recommend doing that, but hey to each their own.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert nor a lawyer, I have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t consider any of the above or below legal advice, thanks.
Putting Cannabis Stickers On Your Luggage
Yesterday when I was trying to clear customs in LAX I got stuck behind someone who had a silver, hard shell checked bag. On the checked bag were more stickers then you’ll find on a parent of an honor student’s car. One of those stickers caught the attention of the customs agent. Specifically, the sticker in question was a leaf with 7 points which is familiar to those who indulge in casual drug use.
As the man approached the customs agent the agent asked the gentleman what this specific sticker represented.
The man played dumb, but the customs agent immediately said “It’s a pot sticker, you know, like weed or marijuana, right?”
The guy responded with “oh yeah, I guess it is.”
To which the customs agent immediately asked “So, do you smoke pot?”
Pot Smoker Guy thankfully responds by saying “NO.”
However, the customs agent didn’t buy his response and continued with his line of questioning which followed:
“So, you have a pot sticker, but don’t smoke pot?” “Where did you get the sticker?” “Is there pot in your bag?”
This went on for at least 3 full minutes. The exchange was arguably the most funny thing I’ve witnessed at an airport in a long time. Again, for me, probably not for him.
However, things became a lot less funny when the customs agent directed the man to another agent for “Additional Screening.”
So, although you can maybe kinda travel with pot I still don’t recommend doing so. This is especially true on international flights. Considering pot is 100% illegal on all international flights. In fact, bringing pot into the country is still considered a federal offense and is a crime.
Either way putting a marijuana sticker on your luggage is among the dumbest things you can do. Even if you don’t have pot in your bag any power-hungry TSA or Border Patrol Agent is going to use the sticker an excuse to search your bag. It kind of reminds me of saying bomb on an airplane, you just shouldn’t do it…
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little aside. If you do have a pot sticker on you luggage, do yourself a favor and remove it before you travel. Doing so could save you a lot of potential hassle in the future.