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Airport Screening Machines and Marijuana: Good Catches?

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director December 27, 2010

    From December 26 Washington Post: “The full-body scanners in use at 78 U.S. airports can detect small amounts of contraband and hidden weapons, all while producing controversial images of travelers.

    The “good catches,” federal officials say, have largely gone unnoticed amid the criticism that erupted over the ghostly X-rays and “enhanced” pat downs. The Transportation Security Administration, which intensified airport screening last month, points to several successes: small amounts of marijuana wrapped in baggies, other drugs stitched inside underwear, ceramic knives concealed in shirt pockets.”

    Check out photos of airline travelers busted for cannabis here.

    With over 1,000 of these high tech scanning devices deployed at airports by our Reefer Madness-loving federal government, cannabis consumers need to pay special attention when attempting to travel with their medical or recreational cannabis supply.

    Question: Do you feel safer knowing that the feds are spending billions annually on technology that is largely used on busting passengers with small amounts of a dried vegetable matter that possesses strong healing and mild psychotropic properties?

    Answer: I’ll bet hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow doesn’t feel any safer after getting popped by TSA scanners for a little bit of ganja earlier this month.

    52 Responses to “Airport Screening Machines and Marijuana: Good Catches?”

    1. John says:

      Chris,

      The BELOW is not a lesson in how to break the law, only how to avoid conflict and enjoy a vacation. Terrorists, please don’t read.

      Depends. Do you live in a Medical Marijuana state? Do you have a prescription / card?

      If so, keep the dank on you, wrap it in a copy of your prescription and pass it through the XRAY machine inside your carry on. If they find it, they can make a snap judgement to call cops and detain you till the police arrive to determine whassup. If you live in an anti marijuana state, then you already know what can happen to you.

      Also depends on the quantity of dank you are thinking about. Stick to quantities less than the medical limits in NV and your home Medical Marijuana state.

      The carry on screeners aren’t / shouldn’t be looking for drugs, unless they pose a threat to flight safety. Should they find them, then reread paragraph above.

      Checked luggage can be screened at any time for any reason by sniffing dogs of any ilk, and humans, so if you go that route, ( I don’t recommend) keep it airtight and non suspicious looking from an x-ray point of view. Think, if it were x-rayed, would it look suspicious that a deodorant bottle has a whole bunch of loose plant matter in it. etc.

      If found in checked baggage, they may just confiscate, or they may call the cops. Lots of anxiety till you get to LV NV, and that can make you look suspicious.

      Shoes… ummmmm ever heard of the shoe bomber? They usually make you take off your shoes and put them through the x-ray by themselves. I don’t know what they would do if they found shoes in your carryon, but that would depend if they found your shoes with an x-ray.

      If you refuse the body scanner, you get a full pat down, and they might open your bag. So keep it in the bag, not on your body and the bag will go through x-ray.

      I’d say, keep it thin, orient it in your bag so that when viewed from above (carry on on belt, looking down) it doesn’t look suspicious. Although they may look at bags from multiple angles with XRAY now.

      Generally I would guess plant matter is mostly invisible to XRAY, but they can also change the sensitivity of the machine, so don’t give them any reason to physically open your bag.

      You can also make it look less appealing if you travel with electronics,. Laptops go on the belt. Power cords, head phones, other things don’t. Put those in a ziploc or two, and then orient the dank near (in xray viewing terms) those things, and then those will hopefully be more interesting to look at.

      If they ask to look inside your bag, they’ll find the electronics ziploc first and may not see your weed stash wrapped in that scarf. Smelling is a different story. Again, what should they be looking for. (I had a friend who didn’t even make it to the screener before someone in line pointed him out due to the strong smell while waiting in line)

      Paraphernalia…. papers, apple, buy a pipe and throw away… no metal pipes. ( I watched a guy on the x-ray getting trained, and the trainer pointed out the pieces of my brass screw together pipe and explain what it was to the trainee (that that and that screw together to make a pipe) and then look over at me waiting for my bag… many years ago… they’re not dumb, they’ve seen it all, like most cops)

      And hey, if you can get weed easily at home, THEN DON’T BRING THE LEFTOVERS BACK WITH YOU!!!

      Also note, Las Vegas and Nevada have some pretty strong anti drug laws, which are selectively enforced, but can be harsh when enforced.

      Good luck man. If you get caught, then don’t come crying to me. :)

    2. Aaron says:

      They allow tobacco, but not marijuana? Damn let’s elect some competent leaders instead of this shit.

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