Orlando International Airport Bans Medical Marijuana
Florida may have legalized medical marijuana in 2016, but that hasn’t stopped Orlando International Airport from banning the substance on its property.
On June 21, 2017, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board, the governmental board that operates Orlando International Airport, approved an operational policy that bans medical marijuana on airport property, including both OIA and Orlando Executive Airport.
“The Aviation Authority, under Grant Assurance 1, is obligated to ‘comply with all applicable Federal laws, regulations, executive orders, policies, guidelines, and requirements.’ Consequently, the Aviation Authority must treat marijuana as a controlled substance and may not permit marijuana to be brought onto airport property,” wrote Phillip N. Brown, Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board, in a memo.
According to WFTV News, the Orlando Police Department has no intention of arresting patients carrying medical marijuana legally, even if on airport property. Airport administrators have yet to determine a penalty for those patients who violate the ban.
Officers with the Transportation Security Administration do not actively look for marijuana at airports or on passengers; however, if they find marijuana on an individual or in luggage during security screening, they can call in local law enforcement, but it’s unclear as to how often TSA agents involve law enforcement in such matters.
While Denver International Airport bans medical marijuana as well as recreational marijuana, Portland International Airport permits marijuana for flights within the state of Oregon, where medical and recreational marijuana are legal.