political | 10.24.2018

Can you fly with cannabis in Canada? Yep, you betcha!

Sam Anthony

Staff

Canada’s new federal cannabis act went into effect Wednesday, October 17, 2018, legalizing use for adults 18+ in Quebec and Alberta -- and 19+ in all other provinces. Canadians around the country were lining up on Wednesday to be among the first to purchase legal pot. But legalization brings up a different interesting case -- will one be allowed to have marijuana in an airport? And on the plane as you fly into the sunset?

The answer, in friendly Canadian english, is you betcha!

A different sort of mile high club

Going through airport security with marijuana in your pocket is going to be a strange experience at first, but it’s completely legal: Canadian passengers will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana in their carry on or checked luggage.

However, you cannot travel internationally from Canada with cannabis, not even to U.S. states that have legalized it, due to the fact that U.S. federal law still considers it illegal. So, what happens in Canada needs to stay in Canada. They are still ironing out how airport security will work depending on the destination, as only domestic flights will allow the transport of marijuana.

Second country in the world to legalize weed

Canadians broadly supported marijuana legalization. A poll by researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax found that about 68 percent of people across the country favored the impending legalization of pot, with the bulk of that support in B.C. and Ontario.

So it’s not surprising that on Wednesday, October 18, 2018, our good friend to the north became the second country in the world to fully legalize marijuana.

Wait, did I just say the second country? That’s right - they are not the first country to legalize weed, and the other country isn’t The Netherlands. The first country in the world to legalize marijuana was Uruguay. Surprisingly this small South American nation with a population of only 3.5 million did it five years ago, in 2013.

However, Canada is the first country in the G7, or Group of Seven, to legalize marijuana. This is a big step for legalizing marijuana in other developed countries. If their legislation is well-written and effective we may be able to use at as a blueprint for legalizing marijuana on the federal level in the United States. Let’s hope everything goes smoothly!

Other Cannabis News

Stateside, nine states in the U.S. have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Additionally, medical marijuana is legal in various forms in 31 U.S. states. According to Forbes, the legal marijuana industry made $8.5 billion worth of sales in 2017 in the United States. So not only is support for legalization growing but the U.S. is already the biggest market for legal marijuana in the world.

There’s good reason to be hopeful about the legalization of marijuana being standard for developed countries in the future.

Read next: Canada's Can-Do Attitude Shapes Cannabis Policy