Arrests for cannabis smuggling at Los Angeles International Airport are up 166 percent since the legalization of marijuana in California, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. Officials at LAX reported that cannabis was discovered in checked luggage and carryon bags 503 times last year. In 2017 there were 400 reports for marijuana possession at the airport while in 2016, the year California voters legalized cannabis with the passage of Proposition 64, pot was found on 282 occasions. About 20 percent of those reports involved trafficking and the rest were related to passengers who had been found possessing weed or cannabis products in quantities consistent with personal use.
In 2018, Los Angeles Airport Police made 101 trafficking arrests, compared with 38 in 2017 and only 20 trafficking arrests in 2016, according to LAX police records. Ben Kroger, Jr., a criminal defense attorney that specializes in cannabis law, said that the legalization of marijuana in California and a resulting drop in prices has made smuggling weed to other jurisdictions a lucrative proposition.
“Since pot’s been legalized in California, there’s no money to be made because everyone got involved in it,” Kroger said. “They’ve got these big 50,000-square-foot [grow] houses,