Jul 18, 2022 - News

What happens if you have weed at the Richmond airport

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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Question: Now that marijuana is legal in Virginia, can I travel with it on airplanes?

Answer: No one is going to tell you it's OK to bring weed on airplanes, but almost no one is getting in trouble for doing it at RIC.

State of play: Possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana in public is legal in Virginia, but the drug remains federally illegal and the people searching your bags — the TSA — are part of a federal agency.

  • That's not to mention the fact that depending on where you're flying, weed might still be illegal there.

Between the lines: TSA has said in repeated public statements that agents are searching for weapons, not drugs. But when they find drugs, they refer the matter to local police.

  • At Richmond International Airport, that would be the Richmond Airport Police, who enforce state — not federal — law.
  • "Lawful possession of marijuana does not elicit a police response," airport spokesperson Troy Bell tells Axios.

Since marijuana became legal over a year ago, airport police have issued exactly one citation, Bell tells Axios.

  • The traveler was under 21, and state law prohibits possession by minors.
  • They received a $25 fine.
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