Colorado is pot-friendly but Denver airport is no-pot zone

Denver International Airport bans the possession of marijuana even though recreational use for adults has been approved in Colorado.
(Brennan Linsley / Associated Press)

Colorado recently became the first state in the country where small amounts of recreational pot can be legally sold in specialty shops.

But if you are flying out of the Centennial State with a doggy bag of marijuana, be warned that Denver International Airport has a zero-tolerance policy.

Travelers are already prohibited from carrying marijuana through the airport’s security gates. The airport plans to adopt a rule this week to ban pot in the main terminal as well. The airport is installing signs that include marijuana among the list of prohibited items on airport property, said airport spokeswoman Stacey Stegman.


“We are just clarifying that the airport is not the place for marijuana,” she said.

But if you forgot to leave your pot at home when flying through the airport, don’t stress. If Transportation Security Administration officers find small amounts of marijuana on travelers, the agency says it will refer the matter to local law enforcement.

Airport police at Denver International Airport will likely not arrest you the first time if you are caught carrying a small amount of pot, Stegman said. If you insist on getting on your flight, you must toss it in the trash, she said. If you can’t part with your marijuana, Stegman said, you need to take it with you as you leave the airport.

At Los Angeles International Airport, you can fly with less than eight ounces of marijuana, but only if you have a legitimate medical marijuana identification card, LAX officials said. But you will be questioned and your card will have to be verified by airport police, so set aside extra time for your pot delay.


Survey finds 59% support arming of TSA agents

The hotel minibar may soon be extinct, experts say

Most annoying etiquette violation on a plane? Survey says ...