Chicago police announced they will no longer arrest domestic travelers caught with marijuana at Chicago airports. The policy change comes after Illinois legalized recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older on Jan 1, 2020.
Marijuana is still illegal on a federal level and it’s illegal to cross state borders with marijuana, but the authorities say they have no intention of busting travelers, Chigaco Sun-Times reported.
“Our officers are not looking for cannabis as they go through their normal security [check],” said the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). “But should they come across it, we are going to contact the Chicago Police Department to make a final determination on the disposition.”
Chicago police commander William Mullane stated that to “ensure safe travel for all travelers, we’re encouraging all travelers not to bring cannabis through Chicago airports as it remains illegal under federal law.” However, if travelers are “within the guidelines of our current statute, starting Jan. 1, we can’t enforce anything. If they’re legal, they’re legal.”
Public consumption of marijuana at Chicago airports can lead to arrest, however, Chicago PD won’t confiscate passengers’ marijuana.
“If it is not a violation of the statute or ordinance, we would offer them a proper disposal of the cannabis if they wish, or they could continue on with their travels,” Mullane said.
Illinois’ new marijuana allows adults to possess up to 30 grams (~1.05 ounces) of marijuana flower and up to 5 grams (~0.17 ounces) of marijuana concentrate.