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New Colorado Airport Rules Concern Medical Marijuana Patients

By Richard Farrell 06/05/2014

In the past, it was never a formal rule as to whether or not Colorado medical marijuana patients could bring their medication on Denver International Airport's property. Some individuals have had no trouble at all boarding the plane with their medical cannabis if they showed their medical marijuana license to the TSA when their carry-on luggage is checked. It was usually all a matter of what Denver International Airport employees were working at the time and it was very inconsistent. No one really ever knew what was allowed and what wasn't.

A spokesperson for the Denver International Airport, Stacey Stegman, stated that a formal ban of pot on the airport's property would clear up any confusion on the matter. There are now signs all over the airport stating that passengers are not allowed to carry, use, or grow marijuana on the airport's property, even for medical purposes. The airport manager still needs to give the final approval for the new rule, but it is pretty much already in effect at this point. Travelers are not very happy about this new rule, though.

If travelers forget to leave their pot behind and get caught with it at the airport, local law enforcement will get involved and travelers may be fined, depending on the amount of cannabis they have on them. For the first violation, passengers are looking at a fine of $150. For multiple infractions, passengers can be fined up to $999.

Many medical marijuana patients are very upset about this new role. A spokesperson from the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws, Rachel Gillette, said, "To deny safe access to medical marijuana at the airport is unnecessary, and I think it's cruel." The purpose of having their medication on them when they travel is not about getting high. The matter is that patients want to be able to have access to their medical cannabis whenever they need it. A lot of people believe this new ban is unfair to medical marijuana patients. This is because everyone else is allowed to bring their medications with them when traveling, so many feel as though it just isn't right for them to be fined for having their medication.

Denver International Airport is not the only Colorado airport to ban marijuana on their property. Colorado Springs Airport is also on board. Colorado Springs Airport announced that their marijuana ban will take effect on Friday, January 10th. The airport will have boxes available for passengers to dispose of their marijuana before checking in to avoid being fined.

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