Jul 18, 2022 - News

What happens if you have weed at the Richmond airport

Illustration of the Richmond skyline with word balloons filled with exclamation points popping up across it from left to right.

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.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Richmond.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Richmond stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Richmond.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more