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The Transportation Security Administration has a message for marijuana consumers: We won’t look for your pot, but if we find it, we can’t ignore it either.

It’s a clarification the federal agency wanted to make clear as more states legalize marijuana in some form.

“Are we cool? We like to think we’re cool. We want you to have a pleasant experience at the airport and arrive safely at your destination,” the TSA wrote in an Instagram post last month. “But getting caught while trying to fly with marijuana or cannabis-infused products can really harsh your mellow.”


Regardless of whether your destination allows recreational marijuana, traveling over state lines with marijuana, whether by plane, train, car, or foot, is illegal. And yes, that even includes flying between two states where adult-use marijuana is legal.

But the TSA says even though it’s federally illegal, that’s not what it’s looking for when its officers screen you.

“Let us be blunt: TSA officers DO NOT search for marijuana or other illegal drugs,” the agency wrote. “Our screening procedures are focused on security and detecting potential threats.”

That being said, if they find marijuana products on you or in your luggage — even if it’s for medicinal use only — officials are required to contact law enforcement.

“But in the event a substance appears to be marijuana or a cannabis infused product, we’re required by federal law to notify law enforcement,” the agency wrote. “This includes items that are used for medicinal purposes.”

In Boston, that means the TSA will contact Massachusetts State Police, whose response will depend on how much marijuana the person has.

If the amount of marijuana is above the legal limit of Massachusetts law — 1 ounce of marijuana on you at a time — State Police troopers will “take law enforcement action,” including seizing the marijuana products, State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said. In most cases, the person will be issued a summons to appear in court, though they could be arrested.


If the amount of marijuana is within the legal limit, there isn’t a whole lot State Police will do.

“If the amount is within the legal limit for possession, we will not seize it and, generally, will tell the possessor that unless the airline will allow them to carry it aboard the flight, they have to leave the screening area and dispose of the marijuana or give it to someone who is not flying and who can legally possess it,” Procopio wrote in an e-mail.

“If they do that, they can then return to be re-screened for boarding.”

Unlike Las Vegas, where officials have installed “amnesty boxes” for travelers to drop marijuana products, Logan does not have any particular place to dispose of marijuana.

Instead, Massport officials simply recommend travelers throw their marijuana products in a nearby trash can, hand them to a friend or family member who isn’t flying, or drop them off in their vehicle if they drove to the airport.