Toronto’s Pearson Airport Reminds Passengers That ‘Cannabis Disposal Containers’ Aren’t ‘Free Weed’ [Opinion]

Pot is now legal in Canada, but you still can't take it on a plane.

Cannabis product
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Pot is now legal in Canada, but you still can't take it on a plane.

A Canadian airport is reminding travelers that the cannabis disposal containers they provide aren’t there as a limitless supply of “free weed,” Indie88 is reporting.

Cannabis – also called marijuana, pot, or a host of other colloquial names – is legal now in Canada, but that doesn’t mean that you can board a plane with it. And you sure as heck can’t board a plane bound for the U.S., or anywhere other than Uruguay (the only other country in the world to completely legalize pot, as of this writing,) while you’re carrying.

To that end, Canadian airports, including Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, have installed cannabis disposal containers. Basically, they’re trash cans where travelers have a last chance to toss their doobie before trying to board a plane with it, and thus committing a crime in the process (or at the very least, risking being denied boarding.)

However, enterprising Canadians have figured out that those bins are filled with bud, and with no cashier to take payment for them. Free money (so to speak!) In fact, over on Reddit, a poster took a picture of one of those units and captioned it “Free Weed Bin!”

Not so fast, says Pearson Airport spokesperson Robin Smith.

“‘Free weed’ is resoundingly incorrect, and I think that’s putting it mildly. Once something goes in the container, it doesn’t come out.”

Pearson didn’t specify what happens to the cannabis once it’s placed in those containers, only saying that a “specific service” disposes of it. That destroys this writer’s theory that Pearson employees “dispose of it” in the employee lounge after they get off work. Those disposal units are monitored by security personnel, so at the very least you’d be looking at a theft charge if you got caught.

In case you were wondering, cannabis disposal units are also a thing at some American airports, particularly in states where marijuana is legal. There are some at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport, for example, where they’re called “Marijuana Amnesty Boxes,” according to UPI.

Flying with pot is something of a dice roll on domestic flights in the U.S. Officially, since pot is illegal at the federal level, you’re not allowed to bring it on board an aircraft (or possess it at all.) Unofficially, according to USA Today, TSA agents will probably look the other way if you try to bring a “small amount,” like a few grams, onto the aircraft. Don’t try to smoke it on the plane though.

Your odds of finding a TSA agent who won’t harsh your mellow get better if you’re flying from and/or to places where pot is legal — Denver to San Francisco, for example. Your luck may not go so far if you’re flying, say, Salt Lake City to New Orleans (Utah and Louisiana having some of the harshest pot laws in the country, as of this writing.) Of course, taking it on an international flight is right out, so don’t try it.

Even if you’re flying to Canada.