Every time we turn around, marijuana seems to be making headlines in the national and international news. From the 4/20 cannabis holiday to the recent debate in the White House, the drug has continued to make its presence known. Surprisingly, though, our neighbor Canada has helped marijuana take flight, literally. Recently, the government has allowed Canadian people to carry the drug on domestic flights across the county, with a few exceptions regarding international law. What does this mean for the global debate on marijuana and what significance does this hold? Let’s take a closer look at the situation and find out.
Air Canada and Cannabis
On October 2, 2018, the Canadian Ministry of Transport released an announcement stating that passengers flying can bring cannabis products on domestic flights. More specifically, Canadians can now put a maximum of 30 grams of this substance (identical to the legal amount citizens can carry in public places) in their carry-on luggage. This decision coincides with October 17, when Canada will officially legalize marijuana.
Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Canadians traveling outside the country will not be allowed to carry cannabis, even if these people are traveling to U.S. states that have legalized the substance (e.g. Maine, Washington, or Alaska). As enforced by federal law, marijuana has been labeled as a schedule 1 substance and is illegal by United States Government standards.
However, Canada’s Minister of Transportation Marc Garneau has reassured these people that they will not have to be concerned over the cannabis laws in their country. If the quantity falls within national regulations, passengers can ride in domestic flights with no problems.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Air Transport Safety Authority (CATSA) is putting the final touches on this new policy. While 30 grams of cannabis is allowed, lawmakers have forbidden the use of e-cigarettes and joints on board flights. Likewise, marijuana-infused edibles (which are still illegal in Canada) will also not be permitted on board domestic flights to Canada.
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