America’s Airline Traffic Is Now Full of Weed

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Whether
O’Hare
International
Airport
in
Chicago
is
“the
world’s
busiest”
terminal
for
airline
traffic
depends
on
how
you
gauge
such
superlatives.
If
it’s
by
number
of
passengers,
the
busiest
airport
is
Hartsfield-Jackson
in
Atlanta;
if
it’s by
the
sheer
number
of
airplanes
taking
off
and
landing
,
the
United
Airlines
hub
in
Chicago
remains
“busier”
than
anywhere
else
on
the
globe.

Either
way,
as
of
Jan.
1,
O’Hare
is
the
busiest
airport
in
the
world
to
be
newly
located
in
a
state
where
recreational
cannabis
is
legal.
And
indeed,
with
recreational
cannabis
sales
beginning
in
Illinois
earlier
this
month, six
out
of
the
10
busiest
airports
in
the
United
States
are
now
situated
in
states
 where
passengers
can
legally
load
up
at
the
nearest
dispensary
on
their
way
to
or
from
the
airport

which
means
that
airline
traffic
in
the
U.S.
is
even
more
loaded
with
weed
than
it
was
before, and
there’s
not
much
of
anything
anyone
can
do
about
it.

You
may
hear
that
boarding
an
aircraft
while
carrying
cannabis
is
illegal
in
the
United
States.
That
is
true

federal
law
governs
the
friendly
skies
over
all
50
states,
and
federal
law,
quite
famously,
thinks
cannabis
is
a
highly
addictive
substance
with
no
medical
value

but
practically
speaking,
it’s
never
been
safer
to
fly
with
weed.
(Legal
disclaimer:
This
blog
post
is
not
legal
advice
and
nobody
should
do
anything
we
suggest,
ever.)
Complicating
matters
somewhat
are
the
special
legal
jurisdictions
that
exist
at
airports

in
both
Las
Vegas
and
in
Denver,
the
airports
have
declared
that
state
law
does
not
apply
and
that
cannabis
is
still
illegal

but
both
the
demand
and
the
effort
to
enforce
such
laws
are
slim
to
none.

There
are those
who
would
have
you
believe
 that
boarding
a
flight
bearing
cannabis
in
2020
means
blundering
into
a
confounding
arena,
a
maze
of
contradictions.
This
is
not
the
case.
The
legal
landscape
is
absurdly
simple:
Cannabis
is
legal
if
the
local
jurisdiction
says
it’s
legal.
The
federal
Transportation
Security
Administration has
gone
as
far
as
to
publicly
announce
 that
they
are
not
there
to
check
for
drugs.
But
if
agents
do
find
cannabis,
their
only
course
of
action
is
to
alert
the
local
authorities.
Unless you
are
some
kind
of
special
breed
of
a
damn
fool
and
try
to
waltz
through
Customs
with
weed
,
all
the
local
authorities
will
be
able
to
do
is
enforce
local
law.
(Under
no
circumstances
should
anyone
who
is
not
a
U.S.
citizen
be
so
foolish;
risks
for
non-citizens
entering
the
U.S.
with
cannabis
include
seizures,
fines,
deportation,
and
a
lifetime
ban
on
entering
the
country.)

It’s
true
that
in
Las
Vegas,
for
example,
possession
of
an
ounce
or
more
of
weed
is
a
felony.
But,
as
an
airport
spokeswoman allowed
to
Forbes
last
year
,
Vegas
“is
a
leisure
market
and
a
destination
market.
We
understand
that
people
come
here
to
have
a
good
time,
so
our
law
enforcement
and
our
community
as
a
whole
value
that.”
This
attitude
is
prevalent,
and
this
is
how
you
explain
O’Hare’s
recent
decision
to
kindly
and
politely
ask
the
public
to
please
enforce
themselves,
and
throw
away
whatever
weed
they
have
on
them
before
boarding
their
flight.

Truthfully,
nobody

not
even
the
hardest-headed
drug-warrior
cop

cares
that
much
about
a
small
amount
of
weed
(except
insofar
as
that
weed
is
an
expedient
excuse
to
justify
a
stop,
or
further
policing).
No,
cops
care
about
big
loads
of
weed,
or,
better
yet, enormous
stacks
of
cash
 that
may
(or
may
not,
who
cares)
be
used
to
buy
big
loads
of
weed. As
the
Los
Angeles
Times
reported
last
year
,
cannabis
“trafficking”
arrests
at
Los
Angeles
International
Airport,
No.
2
on
the
busiest
airports
list
and
thus
the
busiest
in
the
US
where
weed
is
legal,
spiked
166%
to
101
busts
in
2018.
One
typical
bust,
the
newspaper
wrote,
was
an
East
Coast-bound
passenger
with
70
pounds
of
cannabis
in
vacuum-sealed
packages
stashed
in
his
checked
baggage.

Keep
in
mind
that
in
all
of
2018,
there
were
only
503
reports
of
cannabis
found
in
bags
at
LAX

and
that
year,
the
airport
saw
87.5 million passengers
trudge
through
its
gates.
Stashing
weed
in
luggage
“is
normal
procedure…
and
I
would
say
29
out
of
30
times
they
make
it
through
without
a
problem,”
defense
attorney
Bill
Kroger
Jr.
told
the
Times.
The
deduction
here
is
obvious:
legalization
has
made
airports,
and
American
passenger
airlines,
de-facto
weed
delivery
systems.

So
far,
O’Hare
hasn’t
made
itself
a
special
exemption
zone
for
legalization, and
Chicago
police
have
said
publicly
 they
won’t
arrest
anyone
who’s
following
state
law.
(That’s
nice
of
them!)
You
can
almost
certainly
pack
the
legal
limit
and
fly
with
confidence

knowing
there
are
at
least
a
few
other
people
on
your
same
flight
doing
the
exact
same
thing,
if
not
pushing
things
to
the
50-pound
carry-on
limit.


TELL
US,
 have
you
ever
flown
with
cannabis?

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