In Denver Airport Pot News
Regardless of Colorado implementing its legalization of marijuana, Denver International Airport (DIA), a city and county government run airport, has sided with federal law in maintaining a ban on the possession, use, or transportation of marijuana on airport premises, citing its right to establish and enforce such a policy/regulation/restriction under “Amendment 64“, in order to combat illegal interstate/international transportation of the drug.
The law allows certain property owners to maintain control of regulating marijuana on such property:
NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PROHIBIT A PERSON, EMPLOYER, SCHOOL, HOSPITAL, DETENTION FACILITY, CORPORATION OR ANY OTHER ENTITY WHO OCCUPIES, OWNS OR CONTROLS A PROPERTY FROM PROHIBITING OR OTHERWISE REGULATING THE POSSESSION, CONSUMPTION, USE, DISPLAY, TRANSFER, DISTRIBUTION, SALE, TRANSPORTATION, OR GROWING OF MARIJUANA ON OR IN THAT PROPERTY. Section 16(6)(d).
As such, DIA, one of the busiest airports in the United States and the largest by total area (140 sq km/35,000 acres), now will restrict ALL pot possession, even though it had recently allowed possession of small amounts (1oz/28g or less) so long as it was not passed through a TSA checkpoint. Reports indicate DIA will soon display warnings to travelers that say: “It is unlawful to possess, consume, use, display, transfer, distribute, sell, transport or grow marijuana in this airport. Violators may be fined up to $999.”
What’s TSA Say?
As to finding marijuana on a person or baggage, the TSA says:
“TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs. In the event a substance that appears to be marijuana is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.
Whether or not marijuana is considered “medical marijuana” under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law and federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.
Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.
Strictly speaking, it is illegal to fly on commercial airlines with weed because air carrier travel falls under federal jurisdiction, and marijuana is still illegal under federal law. However, TSA policy and anecdotal reports suggest that passengers who travel between states in which they can legally use pot have been allowed to fly with their medical marijuana, I’m assuming with appropriate medical documentation. Nevertheless, this is a very “proceed at your own risk” situation, and I in no way advise doing so.
In Denver Airport Pot News? (OVERTIME)
In other (related?) DIA news, more food options have opened in the past month!
- A second Dunkin’ Donuts location has opened in the center of the DIA A Concourse. The other location is at “Final Approach,” the airport’s new cell phone waiting area. The A Concourse location will be open from 5am-9pm daily.
- Wetzel’s Pretzels is now open near Gate B23 on the west end of the B Concourse.