A Hawaii Marijuana Travel Guide: How to get through TSA with Medical Cannabis

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Am I able to travel with my medical marijuana in Hawaii? the quick answer is: Yes and No.

Patients, or designated caregivers, may take no more than 4 ounces of marijuana in Hawaii with them through TSA airport security as long as they stay within the State of Hawaii. This right was established in the opinion reached by the Hawaii Supreme Court in State of Hawaii vs. Geoffrey Woodhall and can be found here: http://www.courts.state.hi.us/docs/opin_ord/sct/2013/May/SCWC-11-0000097.pdf

However, a law passed by the 2015 legislature says that patients ARE NOT allowed to transport their cannabis between the Hawaiian islands. This conflict between Judicial law and Legislative law stands as of this date.

Travel Smart

First of all, the TSA isn't looking for marijuana in Hawaii; they are looking for weapons and other divices of mass destruction. The dogs that you see at the airports are rarely drug dogs. If they were, then there would be too many people to search, and the legal system would be clogged with petty pot cases.

If the TSA finds your marijuana, they must notify local law enforcement immediately. Once the local police or sheriff arrive, they will need to confirm that your 329 certificate is valid, just like when the police pull over a driver and then run the driver's license through the database. Once your 329 card is validated, you will be let go as long as you do not have more than 4 ounces in your possession, and you assert your rights by showing a copy of the Woodhall vs State of Hawaii. The law enforcement officer could choose to either confiscate your cannabis, or even arrest you based on the law saying tht you can't travel with it. If the officer decides to arrest you, then you may very well have standing for a lawsuit based on the State of Hawaii vs. Geoffrey Woodhall case.

Do's & Don't's

  • DO only take up to 4 ounces at a time
  • DO take it in your carry-on bag
  • DON'T try to hide it
  • DON'T declare it

The Hawaii marijuana 329 certificate allows a patient on any Hawaiian island that is designated as their grow location to grow their own cannabis, legally. The patient is responsible to stay within the law, which limits a patient to just 7 plants and 4 ounces of usable cannabis at any time throughout the valid certificate year.

We hope this article helps you navigate through security with confidence and ease as you carry your medicine with you between the islands. Aloha!

Matthew Brittain

Effective Change, LLC, 224 Kamehameha Ave. $207, Hilo, HI

Matthew Brittain, LCSW, DCSW is a mental health and substance abuse professional living on the Big Island of Hawaii, state of Hawaii. Specializing in the coordination of medical marijuana certification services since 2003, more that 4,000 patients have been certified over the years.