New York police have stopped seizing marijuana, making arrests or issuing tickets for low-level marijuana possession for travelers passing through airports across the state.
New York legalized the possession of up to three ounces of marijuana in March, Times Union reported.
“We don’t seize it. We just look for threats — explosives, knives, guns; we don’t look for illegally possessed narcotics,” said Bart Johnson, who is federal security director at Albany International Airport. “When we notice something suspicious on a pat-down or something like that and then we discover that it’s marijuana … so we’re looking to see if it’s a threat. … If it turns out to be something that appears to be an illegal substance, we notify law enforcement.”
The Albany County sheriff said they no longer issue tickets or make an arrest if the amount of cannabis appears to be less than three ounces. In prior years, deputies and investigators had made dozens of arrests or issued tickets for unlawful possession of marijuana at the airport.
“TSA officers DO NOT search for marijuana or other illegal drugs,” TSA stated in April 2019. “Our screening procedures are focused on security and detecting potential threats. But in the event a substance appears to be marijuana or a cannabis-infused product, we’re required by federal law to notify law enforcement. This includes items that are used for medicinal purposes.”