No sparking up at Denver airport

Despite new Colo. law, officials favor TSA's pot prohibition, irking advocates

Dylan Stableford
Yahoo News
Legalization of marijuana
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An employee weighs portions of retail marijuana to be packaged and sold at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver, Tuesday Dec. 31, 2013. Colorado is making final preparations for marijuana sales to begin Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday." (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Denver International Airport has drawn the ire of marijuana advocates after threatening to ban pot despite Colorado's new state law legalizing its recreational use and possession.

The airport heard public comments on Wednesday. Airport spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said officials are reviewing comments and working on finalizing policy.

"Marijuana is on the list of TSA’s prohibited items. You can't fly with it," Stegman told Denver's ABC 7 affiliate. "We as an airport have a responsibly to honor that."

Since the new state law went into effect Jan. 1, signs inside Denver International appeared, warning visitors of the marijuana ban on its property.

Under the proposed policy, workers or visitors caught with marijuana would face a fine for up to $150 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses may lead to fines of $500 and $999.

While the new law legalizes the sale and possession of recreational marijuana, it also states that property owners can prohibit "the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in that property."

But some advocates in Colorado say now that pot is legal, they should be able to take it into the airport and, if they're flying to another location that allows it, on the plane too.

"I don’t take medication with me when I’m flying internationally," Deborah Palm-Egley, a medical marijuana patient, told ABC. "But when I fly to states that it’s legal in, I want my medication. It shouldn’t be an issue. If you have a card, it shouldn’t be an issue."

Last month, Stegman said the airport "did not want to be in the position of facilitating the transport of marijuana to other states."

The proposed policy at Denver International would not distinguish between medical and recreational weed.

Meanwhile, marijuana retailers in Colorado have been reporting steady traffic and limited supply.

According to the Denver Post's Cannabist blog, industry experts estimate Colorado's pot stores have generated more than $5 million in sales — including $1 million on New Year’s Day alone. And the owner of one "said she expects to make as much in sales in the first 10 days of January as she did all of last year selling medical marijuana."

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