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TSA website accidentally tells travelers they can fly with medical marijuana

April 8, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
TSA website accidentally tells travelers they can fly with medical marijuana

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U.S. TSA officials were forced to emphasize on Wednesday that travelers are not allowed to fly with medical marijuana after they inadvertently approved the substance on their website.

For a brief period on Wednesday, the TSA site dedicated to explaining what items travelers can and cannot bring on a plane said medical marijuana is allowed on flights. The error captured the attention of several marijuana support groups, who were originally excited over what they believed was a shifting federal view on medical marijuana.

Tom Angell, a marijuana advocate, was the first to report on the apparent change in TSA policy, which grabbed the attention of the agency. TSA administrators quickly fixed the error, relabeling medical marijuana as a forbidden substance on flights.

The TSA says on its website that its officers “do not search for marijuana or other drugs,” but warns that its agents do turn over those found with pot to authorities (Getty Images)

“There was an error in the database of a search tool that is now corrected,” Michael England, a TSA spokesperson, told CNN. “While we have no regulations on possessing marijuana, possession is a crime under federal law. Our officers are not looking for illegal narcotics, but have to report them to law enforcement when discovered.”

The agency indicates that weed remains categorized as a Schedule I drug by the DEA along with other narcotics such as heroin. The government does not recognize medicinal benefits in any substance classified as Schedule I.

“Whether marijuana is legal under local law is not relevant to TSA screening because TSA is governed by federal law,” the website states. “Federal law provides no basis to treat medical marijuana differently than non-medical marijuana.”

Medical marijuana is legalized in 28 states and is legal in Washington, D.C., for recreational use. Citizens in Maine, Nevada, California and Massachusetts all voted for proposals to legalize recreational marijuana use on Election Day 2016.

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