WASHINGTON — What do full-size bottles of shampoo, recreational oxygen and medical marijuana have in common? The TSA says you can’t bring them on a plane.
But for a brief window of time, the TSA website wrongly informed air travelers that it was OK to bring medical marijuana onto planes, and the error got a few pot supporters’ hopes up.
Tom Angell posted about it on a cannabis website, and shortly after a cannabis group tweeted out the find, the TSA noticed and corrected the TSA site’s entry, turning a pair of green “yes’s” next to “medical marijuana” to two red “no’s.” The TSA then responded with a brief statement saying the entry was made in error.
A spokesman for the TSA made the same point to CNN, underscoring the role of the TSA and the fact that possession of marijuana, including medical marijuana recommended by a doctor in accordance with a state law, is in violation of federal law.
“There was an error in the database of a new search tool that is now corrected,” TSA spokesman Michael England told CNN. “While we have no regulations on possessing/transporting marijuana, possession is a crime under federal law. Our officers are not looking for illegal narcotics, but they have to report them to law enforcement when discovered.”
The DEA classifies marijuana as a “Schedule I” drug, a category reserved for substances with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” like heroin.
The entry for medical marijuana on the recently added search tool had previously said, “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.”
But it erroneously said the TSA would allow medical pot in carry on or checked bags.
The page was updated to include this sentence: “Whether or not marijuana is considered legal under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law. Federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana any differently than non-medical marijuana.”
And it said the TSA would not allow medical marijuana in either carry on or checked bags, placing medical marijuana alongside firearms, fire extinguishers, fireworks and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.