Flying high: rules surrounding passengers carrying cannabis at Canadian airports


There are new rules right around the corner that will feel incredibly foreign to those flying. After Oct. 17, passengers that take to the sky will be able to stroll through airport security with marijuana depending on their final destination.

“I’m not particularly surprised,” said Neil Reddekopp who was flying with his wife to Chicago on Wednesday.

“But for either of us it’s not an issue so it’s not something we’re going to take advantage of.”

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According to Transport Canada, passengers will soon be permitted to have up to 30 grams of cannabis in either their carry-on or tucked away in their luggage.

Tomson Hutchinson, 27, said while it will be a learning curving for Canadians to navigate through all the rules and regulations in the weeks to come. He admitted, once allowed, he will likely take a little legal pot with him when he travels by air.

“Yes, I would. Why not?” Hutchinson added.

How different screening will be for patrons at airport security checkpoints is still being ironed out. The Canadian Air Transport Safety Authority which oversees our country’s airport screeners says it expects “to finalize our procedures in the coming days.”

This new protocol at airports, however, does come with a word of warning for passengers.

It will still be against the law to pack bags with pot when travelling internationally even into areas or U.S. states where marijuana is already legal.

“As long as the flight is domestic, people are allowed to bring up to a certain quantity for their personal use,” Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said.

“However, I would remind people if they’re going to a country like the United States – the rules of that country are the rules that apply.”

While pot is legal in several U.S. states, it’s not on a federal level and you could face serious criminal penalties. It is also illegal to transport cannabis used for medical purposes across international borders.

This sign is displayed in front of the airport security check-in at the Saskatoon airport.

File / Global News

When flying high, people won’t be able to smoke pot onboard any aircraft in accordance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations. It will also be forbidden to light one up while waiting to board a plane at the Saskatoon Airport.

“You’re not able to smoke cannabis here at the airport similar to drinking in public,” Saskatoon Airport Authority CEO Stephen Maybury said.

Transport Canada said it is working to post signage advising travellers of the new rules and that they’ll be installed at airports, ferry and cruise terminals, and railway stations at exit points from Canada. With respect to land crossings, it is working with provinces and territories to install road signs near the border.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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