All Hawaii Cities

Click here for an alphabetical listing

State Court Rules Marijuana in Airport Legal

The Hawaii state Supreme Court ruled last month that having permissible amounts of marijuana in an airport is legal – despite a prohibition of transporting the drug through a public place.

The case centered around the 2010 arrest of Geoffrey Woodall at Kona Airport. The marijuana in question, what is termed “a small amount” was found during a security screening. Woodall was a registered medical marijuana patient in Hawaii. He was arrested even though he had a card and the usual flow, as outlined by the TSA is to hand off any state-level crimes to local police. In other words, the TSA will identify a problem, but they then leave it up to local law enforcement to make an arrest or not.

In a 4 to 1 decision, the court ruled that Woodall was protected by one part of our statute, while still vulnerable under the restrictions about transporting through a public venue. The court decided that the permission overrode the prohibition in this case.

Medical marijuana patients often face difficulty when they travel, since they may arrive at a destination where pot isn’t legal or move through a place where the drug is prohibited. Some will mail their cannabis to the destination, rather than worry about getting detained by the TSA or local authorities. In many states, where marijuana has been permitted for some time, presenting a valid registration sets any restrictions aside. But this varies, sometimes getting down to the individual police officer involved.

Because the final outcome is unpredictable, advocates recommend that any marijuana be purchased at the destination, instead of risking transporting it. This is not always possible however, as when a Hawaiian-registered patient travels to a state where their card does not allow them to buy weed. Even states where medical marijuana is legal may prohibit out of state patients to buy the drug.

For now, this will remain one of many grey areas in the law. The TSA is operated as a federal agency, so they could arrest and charge people under federal law. The fact that they don’t is merely a matter of policy, and policies can change overnight.


The contents of the web site (the "Site") are for informational purposes only. The Information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, tests or treatment, and does not create a physician-patient relationship. This Site and Deep Dive Media ("the Company") are not responsible for sending you to, referring you to or making recommendations about a doctor, a professional practice or health insurance company. NO LICENSED PHYSICIAN-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP IS CREATED BY USING INFORMATION PROVIDED BY OR THROUGH THE USE OF THIS SITE INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, TREATMENT CENTER REFERRAL FUNCTIONS OR LINKS TO OTHER SITES. The Company makes no guarantees, representations or warranties, whether expressed or implied, with respect to professional qualifications, expertise, quality of work or other information herein. Further the Company does not in any way endorse the individuals described herein. In no event shall the Company be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you in reliance on such information. You are STRONGLY ADVISED to perform your own due diligence prior to selecting a health care professional with activities, such as making confirming telephone calls to the appropriate licensing authorities to verify listed credentials and education. In addition you can further verify information about a physician or medical provider by confirming with the doctor's office, your current physician, the medical association relative to the doctor's specialty and your state medical board. See our Legal Statement for the complete terms and conditions governing your use of the Site.


Why Did You Visit This Site?
I am looking for treatment
A friend or family member is looking for treatment
Just Looking for Information
Total votes: 105
Call 1-855-216-4673 anytime to speak with an addiction specialist. Insurance Accepted.