Lawyer: Canadians Should Flush Their Pot in the Lavatory Before a Flight Diverts to the U.S.

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.

(HT: Tyler)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. What would happen if someone who requires a visa to the US but doesn’t have one was on that flight? Would they be forced to stay in the terminal?

  2. Clickbait… The weak premise: “Some passengers on board began to worry over what would happen to their pot,” isn’t even true if you read the link. Nothing to see here except for a blogger mentally masturbating.

  3. Easiest thing to do is just toss the baggie (or whatever) under the seat in front/back/across the aisle. The way these airplanes are cleaned (not) the stash would be there for a long, long time…

  4. @GTH666 it is a problem and it is not clickbait. If you had your Maryjane then you would be worrying also. First your stupid for taking it on board a plane. Second your stupid for thinking you will NOT get into trouble crossing the boarder.

    The US and CA have rules. When flying from the US to Alaska, bring a passport. Because if you make an emergency landing in Vancouver, then when you arrive in Alaska you are entering from Canada NOT USA and need a passport to enter the USA.

  5. Makes me wonder what would happen if I had some guns in checked luggage then got diverted to trudeuatopia

  6. @tomri: calling people stupid would be more effective if you knew how to spell “you’re” (2x) and “border”. You got lucky on one place and spelled the word “your” correctly.

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