Article by Amanda Bohman, Fairbanks News Miner
Airline passengers departing Fairbanks International Airport with up to an ounce of marijuana no longer will be forced to give up their pot, officials with the Transportation Security Administration and airport police said Wednesday.
A local marijuana activist had sued after the TSA flagged his marijuana, and he turned it over to the Airport Police and Fire Department.
Frank Berardi got his 8 grams of pot back Monday after securing a court order.
The lawsuit shed light on a misunderstanding between the TSA and airport police about whether people are allowed to pass through the TSA checkpoint at Fairbanks International Airport with marijuana.
Airport Police Chief Sean Martines said it was his agency’s understanding that the TSA treated marijuana like it treats knives, ammunition and other prohibited items. TSA agents have told him as much, he said.
“It’s their call what goes on the plane,” Martines said.
It turns out the TSA is not prohibiting marijuana to pass through its checkpoint at the Fairbanks International Airport.
Agency spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said the TSA doesn’t consider marijuana a security threat as it does items such as aerosols, firecrackers and flammable liquids.