WATCH: What are the rules about carrying marijuana through airports and on planes? As Tess van Straaten tells us in our cannabis countdown series, it all depends on where you’re flying.
Flying can be stressful enough but marijuana legalization could cause some additional turbulence.”The most important thing is not to travel internationally with any amount of marijuana no matter whether it’s decriminalized in the country or the state you’re travelling to, it’s still prohibited to travel across international borders carrying any amount of marijuana,” cautions Cpl. Chris Manseau of the Sidney/North Saanich RCMP.
That’s why police and airport officials are warning passengers in advance and held a special information session at Victoria International Airport on Thursday.
“It’s important for people to make themselves as fully aware as possible, especially if you’re travelling internationally,” says Rod Hunchak Victoria International Airport. “Think about where you’re going and what you might be in possession of and make the right decisions.”
But even in Canada, the laws can vary between provinces and territories — including the legal age to posses cannabis. And that’s not the only reason police are urging caution about taking pot on planes.
“We are warning people should your plane be diverted due to weather, engine malfunction, whatever, you could end up in place where it is illegal so if you can avoid travelling with it, that is my best suggestion,” Cpl. Manseau says.
It’s not yet clear how much of an impact marijuana legalization will have on airport operations.
There is concern, though, that it could slow down security screening. Officers are only screening for prohibited items, but what happens if someone is over their personal amount?
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority won’t yet say what they plan to do but frequent fliers who travel with medicinal marijuana don’t think it will be a big issue.
“I travel about 200 days a year, so many flights a month, and I’ve never had an issue,” says medicinal marijuana patient David Purcell of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. “In some instances the security individuals have pulled it out, asked be about it and I’ve showed them my recommendation but that’s happened twice out of 60 flights this year.”
With about two million passengers a year travelling through YYJ, officials just hope it won’t be a bumpy ride.
And that includes obeying no smoking signs.
“Smoking in public is smoking in public — whether it’s cannabis, whether it’s tobacco, it’s exactly the same,” says CRD by-law officer Don Brown.
Warnings and tickets will be handed out to offenders to keep the air clear and ensure safe travels.
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