Despite what you may have heard, President Donald Trump’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is not allowing people to bring medical marijuana on airplanes.
There has been a great deal of confusion on this subject coursing through the veins of social media as of late, so we here at The Fresh Toast felt compelled to provide our readers with some clarity.
Because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, it should be well within the scope of common sense that the government, specifically the Department of Homeland Security, would never intentionally green light the herb for travel across the great American airspace.
However, at some point, TSA officials (or at least one of their interns) did post on the agency’s “What Can I Bring” page that medical marijuana was now permitted for both carry on and checked baggage. This discovery was by none other than pro-pot advocate Tom Angell, who teased on his Twitter account yesterday morning that he had a “really exciting story coming today about how a certain federal agency is becoming more friendly to marijuana.”
However, in Angell’s attempt to be the first to report on this development, it seems he failed to confirm the nature of this quiet, little policy change before informing the cannabis community that “it’s official… the federal government doesn’t care if you bring medical marijuana on airplanes.”
Shortly after the story published, however, TSA realized that its staff had made a huge mistake, wasting no time in updating its website to reflect its anti-medical marijuana stance.
“We’re sorry for any confusion,” TSA replied to a Twitter post made by Canna Advisors. “A mistake was made in the database of our new “What can I bring?” tool.”
What made us super suspicious of this supposed policy change, is that while the TSA website did, in fact, show that medical marijuana was now allowed on flights, a familiar statement following the claim gave us here at The Fresh Toast every indication that the agency was not handling medical marijuana any differently than it has been for the past several years.
“TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other drugs,” the website reads. “In the event a substance that appears to be marijuana is observed during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement office.”
It stands to reason that if medical marijuana were allowed on airplanes, there would never be any reason for TSA agents to refer those people found in possession of the herb to local law enforcement. The very suggestion that the police will be called as soon as marijuana is discovered during a security screening is all the information a person should need to understand that the United States government has not in any way changed its position on traveling with weed.
Angell’s initial story, which has since been labeled “Fake News” by those who felt mislead by his jack rabbit reporting, seems to have compelled TSA to post additional details to its website in an effort to further illuminate the medical marijuana ban.
“Whether or not marijuana is considered legal under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law,” the website reads. “Federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.”
Until the federal government changes its overall stance on marijuana, at least with respect to its medicinal function, none of its agencies are ever going to side with a pro-pot policy. And trust us, when that policy change comes, it will not happen quietly, as it was suggested had happened in the latest TSA debacle.
Angell, who serves as the chairman for the national cannabis advocacy group the Marijuana Majority, would have been the last person we would have ever expected to overlook such an important detail.
But then again, we all make mistakes.