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When going on a trip, there are a few essentials to pack in order to make your journey more pleasant. For some users, taking their reliable pipes with them is a must. However, whether it's a domestic trip or a season in a faraway land, every place has a different perspective on marijuana. For this reason, many users may wonder if they can take a pipe on a plane. If you have a flight scheduled soon, this article will give you important information and some tips on getting your pipe on a plane.
Let’s start with the basics. Marijuana is still federally illegal. For this reason, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will follow all the federal regulations when conducting security checks. If you have marijuana on you when traveling by air, you will definitely face the consequences. However, things change a little when it comes to drug paraphernalia.
In essence, drug paraphernalia is considered to be any equipment used to consume illicit drugs, such as marijuana. This includes glass pipes, bowls, miniature spoons, and more. However, the intended purpose is what really matters, and not the product per se.
The way headshops are able to sell these products is by stating that they are sold for tobacco use only. This allows them to avoid facing any consequences, since their instructions of use and purpose is solely for tobacco use only. Once you purchase the product, it is entirely up to you to use it the way you can according to your state’s laws.
These accessories can only be considered drug paraphernalia if they are marketed and/or used for illegal purposes. Depending on the state you live in, smoking cannabis with a pipe will get you in trouble, while in some others it will be legal. As you can see, it only comes down to the purpose of its usage. But, what happens when you travel? Can you take a pipe on a plane?
Can you Bring a Pipe in Checked Luggage?
The TSA allows tobacco pipes in carry-on and check-in bags. In reality, the priority for the TSA is not finding drug paraphernalia, and in case they do, they have the power to decide whether or not you get to stay with your smoking gear.
Can you Take a Pipe Through Airport Security?
So, you can bring your pipe in your checked luggage. Then, what happens when you are going through airport security?
If the TSA sees a pipe or bong in your luggage, you may be asked to show what is inside. As we mentioned before, your pipe or bong can’t be considered drug paraphernalia unless there is clear evidence that you have used it for illicit drugs. For this reason, you may want to clean your pipe thoroughly. Pipes can hold build-up resin and tar that can get to be quite hard to remove. If you show what is inside your luggage and the TSA official finds a pipe with traces of cannabis, there is no other option left but to refer the matter to a law enforcement officer.
So, say you have thoroughly cleansed your pipe, does that mean the TSA official can’t take your tool away? This depends on each individual officer and your own statements. In case the officer asks what you use it for, always bear in mind that these objects are allowed for tobacco use only. It doesn’t matter if you are departing from a state where cannabis is legal, if you are crossing state lines, weed is still considered a Schedule I substance.
If you have any proof on the use of your pipe (say, your vendor marketed the pipe as a tobacco pipe, or the product came with special instructions on its use as a tobacco smoking tool), the TSA will most likely allow the item through the checkpoint. Moreover, you may want to make sure your vendor is a licensed tobacco distributor, just in case things go further and you need to protect yourself.
To reduce the chances of being suspected for possession of illegal paraphernalia, you may also want to store your clean or brand new pipe in a visible place within your luggage. After all, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Hiding your pipe from authorities will only make you look more suspicious.
In most cases though, users haven’t gone through such hassle. Many have gone through the airport security checkpoint and haven’t been asked even once to open their luggage to check their items. As long as it doesn’t have any trace of cannabis, you can take your pipe through airport security.
Can you Take a Pipe on an Airplane?
As much as we would like to give you a definitive answer, it all depends on where you are headed to. If it is a domestic flight and you have managed to take your pipe through airport security, you need to take into account each state’s regulations. If you arrive in a state where marijuana is forbidden, the chances of officials taking away your pipe are greater than if you arrived in another marijuana-friendly state like Colorado. However, having your pipe clean places you in a safer position to defend yourself.
On the other hand, if you are traveling overseas, you may want to think twice before packing your pipe in your luggage. Each country has different views on cannabis. For instance, if you go to Canada, you won’t have to worry too much, since the country has legalized weed nationwide. China, on the contrary, can even punish you by death for drug smuggling. Even if you do not carry cannabis with you, the mere possession of a pipe is enough to face legal consequences in many countries. For this reason, it is important that you investigate the cannabis laws of each country to which you are going to travel. This way, you can save yourself many unwanted problems.
Additionally, we suggest that the safest way to go about taking a pipe on a plane would be to carry a small device. Avoid taking glass pipes with you. We know how cool they are, but the glass could break, adding more worries to your list. Moreover, the smaller the pipe is, the less trouble you will face, and it is also pretty convenient to carry with you wherever you go.