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With many states legalizing marijuana across the country, it’s quite common for people to travel with their stash, but can you bring shatter on an airplane?
The marijuana industry is booming in the United States and the once highly illegal drug has now become a societal norm - with many users preferring shatter over traditional weed. However, despite the widespread adoption of marijuana in the country, the legality of using the drug still sits in a grey area, which is why many users find themselves conflicted about bringing shatter on a flight.
Given that the federal government still classifies shatter and marijuana as illegal substances, you are not allowed to bring them on an airplane - especially for international flights. Many people do bring shatter on airplanes and go through airports without hassles, but there is a risk.
There have been a lot of changes in how marijuana is viewed in our society in recent years. Since Colorado legalized weed back in 2012, the US has seen a domino effect of various states across the country following suit and making weed a recreational substance - much like alcohol. Marijuana is a $61 billion per year industry - with 19 states legalizing pot for recreational use and 36 that have it legal for medicinal use. With that being said, although we have seen marijuana become much more socially acceptable in the country, we must recognize that we are still going through a transitional period with this substance. The federal government to this day classifies weed as a Schedule 1 drug, which implies that it would be wise to stay on your toes until that changes. If you are like most people who enjoy their shatter, you are probably wondering if you can bring it with you on your next flight. To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at the legality of bringing shatter on an airplane.
After extensively researching marijuana laws in the United States, I have been able to gather enough information to determine whether you can bring shatter with you on an airplane and get it through airport security. My research has indicated that although many people do bring shatter with them on airplanes, there is still a risk of running into legal issues if caught.
What is Shatter?
A lot has changed in the marijuana world over the last 20 years - with the traditional ways of pot-smoking being almost a relic of the past. These days, a lot of people prefer to use shatter over marijuana (flower).
Shatter is a concentrated form of THC that is extracted from marijuana. Once developed, the substance looks a lot like solidified tree sap (amber), which will ‘shatter’ when broken. This is a much more potent form of marijuana - similar to hash but even stronger - containing 60 to 80% THC.
Shatter vs Wax
It is quite easy to confuse shatter with a similar substance known as wax. They both resemble similar properties and also contain an almost identical potency of THC, but they can be distinguished based on consistency.
Shatter will be completely solidified and will break into pieces under pressure. Whereas Wax is a goop-like substance that resembles viscous tree sap.
As the marijuana industry continues to grow in popularity, getting high is easier than ever - thanks largely to wax pens. These essentially use the same technology as modern-day vaping only they replace nicotine canisters with THC - specifically concentrated wax.
This enables many users to indulge in the substance in many places that would otherwise be viewed as taboo. Although these devices are designed for wax, many shatter lovers have found an easy hack to make them work in their favor.
With that being said, one of the most common ways that wax and shatter users bring this substance on airplanes is by using a pen. However, given that this turns the substance into a liquid form, it will certainly be spotted by TSA if it contains more than 100ml.
Is Shatter Legal?
The legality of shatter is not very clear in the United States. On the federal level, shatter and marijuana, in general, are still considered to be illegal substances, which can be punishable by law. But this may change soon with the House of Representatives passing a landmark bill in 2022 that could end the prohibition of marijuana on the federal level.
Until the federal government fully legalizes or decriminalizes marijuana and substances like shatter, we need to assume that these drugs are still illegal to fly with. It is also important that we recognize that TSA is a form of law enforcement overseen by the federal government, which implies that they are obliged to follow federal laws.
With that being said, virtually all states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, have done the same for shatter. This means that on the state level, shatter is legal if your state has declared it so.
Although boarding any flight with shatter is technically illegal, many users have done it and gotten away with it. However, you must understand that there is a risk involved in bringing the substance with you on an airplane (and to an airport), which could amount to legal trouble.
If you are flying domestic, your chances of facing serious legal issues may vary depending on several different factors such as:
- Inner State Flights
- Out-Of-State Flights
- Shatter Amount
Although the TSA is run federally, you may find that your agent is less likely to give you a hard time and hand you over to local authorities if shatter is legal within the state that you are traveling in. This is especially the case if you are flying within a state that has legalized cannabis or are flying to another state that has similar laws in place. If the state that you are traveling in has not legalized cannabis, then you are entering a slippery slope.
What is more than likely to happen is that your shatter will be confiscated by TSA, if you were to get caught. However, shatter is not the easiest substance to detect and it is also not on the high priority list of what TSA is looking for when passengers pass through security. These agents have been trained and instructed to find weapons, explosives, liquids, and anything else that is going to be a safety risk for those on board - with shatter being a very low priority.
However, if you are flying with a suitcase full of shatter, you are asking for trouble. If you want to keep a low profile and mitigate your risk, it would be wise to never carry more than what state laws consider to be legal for personal use - such as 8 grams in the State of Colorado. Despite the acceptance of cannabis in our society, you should note that you can still face legal trouble if caught with shatter on a domestic flight.
Although marijuana is moving in the direction of legalization on a national level in the United States, that is not the case abroad. Many countries around the globe have very strict laws on marijuana, which is why we never advise that you bring it with you on international flights.
Having even a small amount of marijuana or shatter with you in certain countries can amount to years spent in prison. There are perhaps some exceptions to this such as flying to Canada, a country that has actually legalized flying with marijuana domestically.
The Canadian government is allowing passengers to bring up to 30 grams of cannabis with them on flights when traveling domestically. Although you still have to deal with TSA before entering Canada, you have a much smaller chance of running into issues with countries like Canada that have made traveling with marijuana legal.