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U.S. Customs reminds travelers that marijuana possession still breaks federal laws

CBP officers continue to see travelers in possession of marijuana and marijuana-based products,...
CBP officers continue to see travelers in possession of marijuana and marijuana-based products, which remain illegal under federal narcotics laws.(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT
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(WBTV) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reminding travelers that having marijuana on you when flying still violates federal laws despite several states legalizing it for recreational and medical use.

Officials say they continue to see travelers violate federal marijuana possession laws after officers seized multiple marijuana-based products from the baggage of a traveler leaving Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) to Jamaica last week.

While examining checked baggage being loaded onto the Montego Bay-bound flight, officers discovered leafy marijuana, gummies, hard candy, a piece of a “protein bar,” and a package of seeds that all tested positive for THC, and some Psilocybin mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms.

CBP officers identified the traveler at the departure gate and escorted him to CBP’s inspection station.

There, officers discovered additional THC gummies in his carry-on bag. Officers seized all illicit products, which weighed a combined 303 grams, and released the traveler.

CBP is not identifying the man, a U.S. citizen, because he was not criminally charged.

“Travelers need to know that Customs and Border Protection Ports of Entry are federal inspection stations, and federal law still prohibits the possession of both medical and recreational use marijuana,” said Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. “Travelers may evade arrest for marijuana possession, but they do face hefty civil penalties and may potentially miss their flight, so CBP encourages travelers to closely examine their baggage before arriving at the airport.”

Earlier in June, officials say CBP officers revoked a woman’s Global Entry trusted traveler membership after officers discovered marijuana in the baggage of a woman who arrived to BWI on a flight from the Dominican Republic.

Though some states have decriminalized marijuana possession or use - the sale, possession, production, distribution or the facilitation of the aforementioned of both medical and recreational marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law.

As federal law prohibits the importation and exportation of marijuana, crossing the international border or arriving at a U.S. port of entry with marijuana may result in seizure, fines, and/or arrest, and may impact a foreign national’s admissibility.

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