- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Transportation Security Administration apologized Wednesday after a computer error incorrectly listed “medical marijuana” on an online list of items that passengers are allowed to bring on board airplanes.

Before the error was corrected, it briefly earned praise from legal pot proponents in light of what appeared at first to be a significant policy change affecting millions of medical marijuana patients from coast to coast.

“There was an error in the database of the ‘What can I bring?’ tool that is now corrected,” TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers told Leafly, a marijuana website.

Prior to correcting the glitch, the TSA’s “What can I bring?” page indicated passengers are allowed to board aircrafts with medical marijuana inside their carry-on bags or checked luggage.

“We’re sorry for any confusion,” the TSA said through its official Twitter account.

Twenty-eight states and the nation’s capital have passed laws that let doctors prescribe marijuana to patients, notwithstanding the federal government’s ongoing prohibition on pot.

And while the TSA hasn’t given medical marijuana patients the green-light to board planes with their pot just yet, the agency has, however, said its agents don’t search airline travelers specifically for drugs.

“It is important for me to note that TSA’s response to the discovery of marijuana is the same in every state and at every airport — regardless of whether marijuana has been legalized,” Ms. Dankers told Leafly.

“As has always been the case, if during the security screening process a TSA officer discovers an item that may violate the law, TSA refers the matter to law enforcement. Law enforcement officials will determine whether to initiate a criminal investigation or what steps — if any — will be taken. If the law enforcement agency decides to take no action, the traveler is allowed to proceed with the item in question,” she added.

While more than half the nation has approved medical marijuana laws since California started the trend in 1996, pot is currently legal for recreational purposes in eight states and Washington, D.C.

Lawmakers introduced legislation in the House and Senate with bipartisan support last week that would provide a path for federal legalization while preserving the integrity of existing state marijuana laws, according to its authors.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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