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Flying High: Denver Airport Says Marijuana is Not a Major Issue

An arial view of the first floor of the Denver airport, where TSA officials have reported no increase in passangers trying to fly with marijuana, despite marijuana being legal in the state.
Photo by Nick Ares

Economics

Flying High: Denver Airport Says Marijuana is Not a Major Issue

Walking into the Denver International Airport (DIA), travelers are certain to pass several obviously placed signs warning of stringent fees, up to $999, for those attempting to enter with marijuana.

Despite the ominous tone of the posters, no citations or arrests have been made since the new year.

According to the Denver Post, 10 people have been caught attempting to pass through security with marijuana. All of these people cooperated with airport security and promptly disposed of it.

“To have contact with 10 people out of millions passing through, it tells me most people are abiding by the rules and this is not a major issue,” Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery told the Denver Post.

The Denver Airport was the first city facility in Colorado to ban marijuana on its grounds and has done so to avoid confusion with city enforcement and federal jurisdiction. While the DIA hasn’t run into issues, the Aspen airport is voicing concerns.

According to the Denver Post; federal officials are finding a grey area in security after the Aspen Airport TSA found a passenger’s suitcase with 36 ounces of edibles. The TSA turned the case over to local authorities who declined to press charges, as the passenger had done nothing wrong under state law.

According to Brad Gibson, the Pitkin County sheriff’s spokesperson, once passengers get into the security line and onto a plane, they are covered by federal law which bans marijuana.

Federal officials say they will enforce the law, but it is remains unclear where local authority ends and federal jurisdiction takes charge.

This report comes on the heels of a large marijuana find at Oakland International Airport – a California airport with amnesty rules for medical marijuana patients. In the early morning of May 2, three suitcases carefully packed with 81 pounds of marijuana were found by TSA. Anastasia Murdock was attempting to check the bags for a flight to Jackson, Miss. The marijuana was confiscated and local authorities were called in to arrest Murdock.

Have you ever traveled by plane with your cannabis? Tell us in the comments.

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