August 2010: Flying with Medicine
Recently, some news outlets and bloggers have been talking about traveling on planes with medicine. While TSA & airport officials may have stated a relaxing of their own "policy" regarding medical cannabis, note that these officials mention turning patients over to local law enforcement officials.
There are currently 2 California patients who have faced state charges & convictions for flying with medicine. In addition, it's important to remember that there are plenty of opportunities in airports and on planes to interact with federal law enforcement, and there is NO medical defense to possession, transportation, or trafficking charges at the federal level. Federal fines are steep, and these types of charges may also lead to jail time.
It's best NOT to fly with medicine, EVEN if your flight never leaves your home state.
Also, keep in mind that most medical marijuana states do NOT recognize patient status for travelers (except RI, MI, ME, & MT). Just because you are a CA patient, that does NOT make you a qualified patient elsewhere.
For more information, please feel free to contact ASA's legal hotline at 510/251-1856 x304 or firstname.lastname@example.org.