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Do TSA agents arrest passengers if they find drugs on them?

We all know that, for the most part, marijuana and marijuana derivatives are illegal in our state. However, it is possible that one could be flying through our state from one state where it is legal to another state where it is also legal.

If you have a long layover, you may be tempted to leave the airport and eat and experience local fair. Unfortunately, if you chose to travel with your weed, a Transportation Security Administration officer may find it when you come back through security to get back on your flight. What happens next?

Will TSA arrest me?

No. First, it is important to understand that TSA officers are not law enforcement officers, and as such, they do not arrest or enforce laws. Instead, they screen passengers, baggage and cargo for potential threats to passengers and planes. Even TSA dogs do not sniff out drugs.

Does that mean I get to fly?

It depends on the state. If you are in Georgia, the answer is likely, no. TSA defers to local law enforcement on what to do with those with marijuana. If it is illegal locally, they will notify airport or local law enforcement, and detain offenders. If it is legal locally, they will force you to dispose of it because it is still illegal federally.

When police arrive, they will arrest you, and you will likely face marijuana possession charges. Depending on the amount in your possession, you could face distribution charges. And, if you traveled across state lines, you could even be referred to federal authorities for further federal-level charges.

Illegal federally and locally

While we all know that weed is illegal locally in Marietta, Georgia, there has been some mixed signals lately federally. However, it is still illegal federally as well. This is why you are not legally allowed to fly with it. While the TSA will not arrest you for having it, they will not allow you to fly with it. Moreover, you could still face charges for trying to fly with it.