Yes, airport security can detect weed. Airport security is trained to determine what illegal drugs look like, and marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Airport security may not be able to detect weed if it has been made into the form of an edible. However, TSA dogs are able to detect THC in items. Therefore, it is best not to bring any federally illegal substance into an airport because you may be arrested for a federal crime.
Read on to learn more about airport security’s ability to detect weed and what consequences you may face if caught with it at an airport.
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What Does Weed Look Like on an Airport Scanner?
Weed will likely appear as a plant or leafy substance on an airport scanner. However, it depends on the form that marijuana is in.
An airport scanner shows three colors to represent different materials, such as:
- Orange: Organic substances
- Green: Non-organic substances
- Blue or Black: Metal and hard plastics
Since marijuana is a plant, it would appear as an organic substance on the scanner. Edibles may show up as food items, which will also appear orange. However, these scanners may not be able to identify other forms of marijuana precisely. Either way, airport security is trained to recognize the appearance of marijuana on scanners.
Does TSA Check for Drugs in Checked Luggage?
No, TSA does not check for drugs in checked luggage. However, if it discovers an illegal drug (e.g., marijuana or cocaine), TSA will refer the matter to various law enforcement. If you try to sneak weed into your checked luggage, you may face legal consequences if caught.
Devices such as Raman spectroscopy have been used to rapidly and effectively identify illegal drugs in containers in airports, according to “Analysis of Seized Drugs Using Portable Raman Spectroscopy in an Airport Environment — a proof of principle study” by Michael D. Hargreaves et al.
Can TSA Dogs Smell Gummy Edibles?
Yes, TSA dogs can smell gummy edibles because they are trained to sniff for THC and marijuana-infused edibles. They can also detect even trace amounts of drugs, so attempting to conceal them within other items will not work. Whether it’s gummy edibles, THC oils, or traditional marijuana, these K9s will alert their handlers to the presence of illegal substances.
What Is the Punishment for Bringing Marijuana into an Airport?
Penalties for bringing marijuana into an airport include prison time, fines, missed flights, and confiscation of the marijuana. However, they may vary depending on the state and federal laws. Even in states where marijuana is legal for recreational or medicinal use, bringing it into an airport or onto a plane remains a federal offense, as federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance.
Airport security can indeed detect weed, and the consequences for attempting to bring it into an airport are serious. Ultimately, weed is not worth the risk of facing charges for possession or trafficking of illegal drugs. It’s crucial to follow regulations and make responsible choices when traveling to avoid legal trouble and disruptions to your journey.