Air Canada flight AC125 from Toronto to Vancouver was forced to divert to Seattle last Sunday due to fog and two failed landing attempts. The plan was to refuel and make another attempt. However passengers got stuck in Seattle when the 787 went out of service for maintenance. Everyone was given hotel rooms for the night.
Some passengers on board began to worry over what would happen to their pot? Recreational marijuana was legalized just over a year ago in Canada, so you can expect that some number of passengers on board were carrying their stash.
They were perfectly within their legal Canadian rights to do so, and were on a Canadian domestic flight. But all of a sudden – through no fault of their own – they’d have found themselves in violation of both U.S. and Canadian law when their Air Canada flight landed in the U.S.
- Marijuana is illegal under U.S. federal law, it’s not just border officials who will cause a problem the TSA is known for Taking Stinkweed Away.
- It’s also against Canadian law to bring it across a border (while it’s legal in Canada it can’t be brought into Canada, or taken out of Canada)
Copyright: ronniechua / 123RF Stock Photo
An immigration lawyer suggests that faced with this situation, U.S. law of course applies, and Air Canada says their policy is ‘realize that even on a domestic flight you might have to divert to the U.S.’ in which consequences are yours to deal with.
Therefore the best course of action for a Canadian passenger carrying pot or other substances illegal under U.S. federal law would be to queue up for the lavatory and flush. Of course what may be good legal advice isn’t necessarily good mechanical advice.
On the other hand if you divert to Jamaica you should be able to buy more at the airport.