Denver, Colorado is one of the very few places in America where you can currently purchase and consume marijuana legally. Even in its first year of sales, pot tourism has sprouted as a new industry in the Mile High City. But the fun stays here, as any bud found in your luggage won't be there when you get home.
"We're not looking for narcotics, but we have to report them to law enforcement when they're found," says the TSA. And in Denver, where non-prescription marijuana sales began on January 1st of this year, law enforcement and the airport folks have been very vocal in their reminders to travelers that you can't transport pot out of state. In spite of that, some choose to disregard the law and press their luck anyway.
TSA Instagram photo
One instance of a failed attempt was published to the TSA's Instagram page recently. A traveler concealed a glass pipe and what appears to be a foil-wrapped pot brownie within a jar of peanut butter. In the photo's caption, the TSA says:
TSA's screening procedures, which are governed by federal law, are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. As has always been the case, if during the security screening procedures an officer discovers an item that may violate federal law, TSA refers the matter to law enforcement. This was the case after our officers discovered an anomaly inside a peanut butter jar in a checked bag at #Denver (#DEN) International Airport.
To reiterate, the TSA doesn't search for narcotics in your luggage. But of something looks weird, they have to check it out. In this case, the weird-looking thing was likely that foil-wrapped block of bud, perhaps making the scanning machine think it was a potential explosive. Through mid May of this year, the Denver Post reported that no marijuana had been seized and no citations had been issued for attempted transportation of marijuana from Denver International Airport. It would be naive to think that stat came from people simply complying with the rules, don't you think?
In addition to the rare drug catch, the TSA shares a lot of photos of confiscated objects on their Instagram page, such as guns, knives, inert grenades and even an IED training kit. If you're interested in seeing where your hard-earned tax dollars go, you can check out their Instagram page here.