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If small amounts of pot are decriminalized, can it fly now?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2023 | Criminal Defense

As most locals know, our state decriminalized small amounts of marijuana along with medical marijuana. With the recent actions to pardon marijuana offenders at the federal level, many Hawaiians may find themselves wondering if they can fly with pot now.

Flying between two legal states

The question of flying with pot is most common when flying between two states where it is legal or decriminalized, like Hawaii and California. Since it is not illegal in either destination, and this administration is actively pardoning those with marijuana possession convictions, it is logical that one could fly with tiny amounts of pot between two such states. However, that is simply not the case.

Why is it not legal?

Even though this administration did a wave of pardons, marijuana is still illegal federally. Additionally, our airways are regulated by the federal government, which means marijuana is illegal when flying the friendly skies over the United States.

What happens if TSA finds it?

For Transportation Security Administration officers in Honolulu, Hawaii, it will depend on the amount you are carrying and the TSA officer that found it. If it is a small amount, they could elect to force you to throw it away. However, since it is just decriminalized, and not actually legal, they could still choose to detain you for local police. If that happens, you may avoid drug charges, but they may charge you with something else as you were attempting to travel outside the state with pot.

The takeaway

For our readers, the key takeaway is to not risk it. Leave your weed at home. You do not want to be a test case. If you find yourself facing drug charges, nonetheless, remember two things. You do not have to answer questions, and you should ask for an attorney immediately.