No – The Dogs at Colorado’s Airports Aren’t Sniffing For Weed
Ever since Colorado legalized recreational and medical marijuana, locals and out-of-staters have turned into proud cannabis connoisseurs. The pot industry is flourishing and people travel from near and far to take part in the state's 420-themed tours, visit dispensaries, and participate in other weed-related experiences.
However, even though Colorado is extremely weed-friendly, it's preferred that people keep their purchased pot products within the state's border. This means not packing it in a suitcase or carrying it aboard airplanes when flying out of Colorado airports.
While it's frowned upon to take weed with you on the airplane, passengers who have recently smoked (or accidentally have cannabis in their pocket) shouldn't start sweating when they see the K9s at the front of the security line. A common misconception is that the canine officers who pace back and forth with their handlers at the security checkpoints at Denver International Airport are going to bust passengers for having it. But that is not the case.
Rather, the dogs in the security line at DIA are actually sniffing for explosives. According to CBS News, these K9 officers have undergone extensive training to detect the scent of bombs-making materials on a moving target or stationary person/bag.
In Colorado, police dogs trained to sniff for marijuana are only allowed to sniff for marijuana if there's probable cause.
Although the K9s aren't specifically searching for weed, it's still illegal to travel with it. DIA's official policy is that it is "unlawful" to possess marijuana on the premises. It's best to leave it at home when traveling out of state by plane.
If a TSA agent catches a traveler with weed at DIA, they would likely ask them to throw it away. However, law enforcement could impose stricter penalties if marijuana is discovered on a person or in a suitcase depending on the situation.
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