Drug dealing TSA Agent

Old Oct 15, 17, 10:42 pm
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Drug dealing TSA Agent

I just flew into DTW North terminal, and walked past an agent near the (deserted, maybe closed as it was almost 10 PM) checkpoint who was on her phone. I overheard one line of the conversation, but it was a doozy: “I can’t wait for December 15. All dispensaries will close so the price of my .... will go up” Just to make sure I heard correctly, I did a quick Google and she’s referencing the fact that marijuana dispensaries in Michigan will indeed be forced to close on December 15. So the conversation seems to imply that she has a side hustle of selling weed.

Now, my opinion on it weed is, I don’t care. It’s not my thing, but smoke it, grow it, sell it, I don’t care. I am all for legalizing it. I don’t hold it against anyone, and if I were an employer, I wouldn’t care if my employees used or sold it, as long as we aren’t dealing with heavy machinery and they don’t come to work high. That being said, I also expect that the people hired by the federal government to supposedly keep air travelers safe shouldn’t be committing felonies, even if I disagree with it being a crime in the first place. I also believe that someone dumb enough to take that call out in the open, as an entire 737 load of passengers walks past, rather than in private maybe should not be in charge of our safety and security. Granted, selling weed is probably one of the better crimes a TSA agent is guilty of, and if we could see the rap sheets for all the agents, I doubt any of us would ever fly again.

I am not sure if I should let it go, or actually report it to anyone, or who I would report it to. I realize I have no proof this conversation took place, and no names (although a physical description should be good enough to identify the employee since it was late and there weren’t a lot of staff on duty at the time). So I am turning to the good people of FlyerTalk: If you were me, what would you do?
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Old Oct 16, 17, 8:20 am
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Old Oct 16, 17, 8:48 am
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And what would you report? Can you name the individual or have enough evidence to give police reasonable suspicion or probably cause?

I agree, given that TSA screeners are required to report any possible violations of federal law such as a passenger having a small stash to police, they need to be held to as high a standard and dealing, if that is truly what this person is doing, should not be working for the government.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 1:56 pm
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You should reports it to TSA manager or supervisor right way. They will get a disciplinary action against the screener. They should be fired from TSA. If you say anything. You should tell LEO right way.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 4:28 pm
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You are making a whole lot of assumptions. Police will do absolutely nothing based on what you thought you may have heard.
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Old Oct 18, 17, 12:26 pm
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I checked to see about medical weed in Michigan. This article from the Detroit Free Press from October 15 provides good background and perhaps places the TSA clerk's comment into context.

Apparently, there is a new law going into effect on December 15 which expands the availability and licensing of those in the medical marijuana industry in Michigan. They also appear to want to fix the current flawed legal framework One aspect of the transition is:

One of the big concerns for the people attending the meeting will be the transition time between the beginning of the application process and the actual availability of medical marijuana, especially since the state has said that they want existing dispensaries to close during the licensing process. And it will take licensed growers about six months to produce a medical marijuana crop.

<snip>

Before the new regulations were passed last year, the 218,556 medical marijuana card holders were supposed to rely on the 38,100 registered caregivers, who could supply marijuana to up to five patients to use to help treat a variety of ailments. That model will stay in effect with the new regulations, along with five categories of licenses — growers, who can produce up to 500, 1,000 or 1,500 plants, processors, testers, transporters and dispensaries.

To start fresh, the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs wants the dispensaries that are operating now to shut down Dec. 15 and not open again until they get a license. And that has caused a panic among medical marijuana users, who have crowded licensing board meetings to tell regulators that the transition time will leave them without the medicine that they need to function.
So, based upon what the OP overheard and the article's facts, perhaps a conclusion is that one of the clerks is a medical marijuana user concerned about the gap in availability discussed in the article. I could be wrong, but I can't imagine that a legitimate medical marijuana user would be physically able to be a TSA clerk. We also have no idea if the clerk was obtaining medical pot legally or not. Perhaps they are a grower who sells to a dispensary?
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Old Oct 19, 17, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much View Post
Perhaps they are a grower who sells to a dispensary?
Perhaps they steal pot “found” in checked bags and sell it? Could be a nice side income for a TSA clerk. Low risk of being reported. Unlike a missing phone or laptop or, few pax will file a police report about a missing stash.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 11:29 pm
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Originally Posted by ygstl View Post
So I am turning to the good people of FlyerTalk: If you were me, what would you do?
I wouldn't give it another thought. Off the top of my head there are about a half a million wrongs in the world that need attending to before the trivial side gig of a TSA screener. If it turns out to be as lucrative as she hopes, she won't be a screener much longer anyway. Win-win.

Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much View Post
I could be wrong, but I can't imagine that a legitimate medical marijuana user would be physically able to be a TSA clerk.
Not all MM users are on disability or in debilitating pain. People on chemo still go to work despite nausea, as do people with suffering glaucoma, seizure disorders, autoimmune diseases and other common medical conditions -- all of are justification for a MM card in most MM-legal states. Not trying to defend the particular screener in question here, just responding to your comment.

Perhaps they are a grower who sells to a dispensary?
Exactly what I was thinking.
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Last edited by essxjay; Oct 20, 17 at 11:59 pm
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Old Oct 23, 17, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by ygstl View Post
I just flew into DTW North terminal, and walked past an agent near the (deserted, maybe closed as it was almost 10 PM) checkpoint who was on her phone. I overheard one line of the conversation, but it was a doozy: “I can’t wait for December 15. All dispensaries will close so the price of my .... will go up” Just to make sure I heard correctly, I did a quick Google and she’s referencing the fact that marijuana dispensaries in Michigan will indeed be forced to close on December 15. So the conversation seems to imply that she has a side hustle of selling weed.

Now, my opinion on it weed is, I don’t care. It’s not my thing, but smoke it, grow it, sell it, I don’t care. I am all for legalizing it. I don’t hold it against anyone, and if I were an employer, I wouldn’t care if my employees used or sold it, as long as we aren’t dealing with heavy machinery and they don’t come to work high. That being said, I also expect that the people hired by the federal government to supposedly keep air travelers safe shouldn’t be committing felonies, even if I disagree with it being a crime in the first place. I also believe that someone dumb enough to take that call out in the open, as an entire 737 load of passengers walks past, rather than in private maybe should not be in charge of our safety and security. Granted, selling weed is probably one of the better crimes a TSA agent is guilty of, and if we could see the rap sheets for all the agents, I doubt any of us would ever fly again.

I am not sure if I should let it go, or actually report it to anyone, or who I would report it to. I realize I have no proof this conversation took place, and no names (although a physical description should be good enough to identify the employee since it was late and there weren’t a lot of staff on duty at the time). So I am turning to the good people of FlyerTalk: If you were me, what would you do?
Is it possible that the TSO was speaking sarcastically? One of my favorite snarks is "Oh, I jut LOVE people who <insert behavior that I despise>!" Perhaps she was sarcastically saying, "Oh, sure, I can't wait until the change that causes me to pay a lot more for a necessary medication!" I don't normally cut TSA or individual TSOs much slack, but in this case I suppose it is possible that the situation is not what it sounded like.

Originally Posted by essxjay View Post
I wouldn't give it another thought. Off the top of my head there are about a half a million wrongs in the world that need attending to before the trivial side gig of a TSA screener. If it turns out to be as lucrative as she hopes, she won't be a screener much longer anyway. Win-win.

Not all MM users are on disability or in debilitating pain. People on chemo still go to work despite nausea, as do people with suffering glaucoma, seizure disorders, autoimmune diseases and other common medical conditions -- all of are justification for a MM card in most MM-legal states. Not trying to defend the particular screener in question here, just responding to your comment.



Exactly what I was thinking.
Sure, plenty of people who legitimately use MJ to treat such ailments are perfectly capable of working many jobs.

However, since MJ does impair judgement and reflexes, are there not restrictions on those who are under the influence? Don't operate heavy equipment, don't utilize firearms, don't handle explosives, don't screen pax at an airport when hundreds of lives could be at stake, etc.

Personally, I would be against any TSO who is on medical MJ being allowed to perform any sort of screening duty, either on pax or luggage, for the duration of their treatment. Just like being on any other mind-altering substance like opiod pain killers or cough medicines, they should be given responsibilities that can still be performed safely in an altered state.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 3:51 pm
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I am against any TSO being on medical MJ. They are federal employees and MJ is still illegal at the federal level. No exemption is granted to wounded vets who have to make the difficult choice between addictive drug cocktails and impossible to get counseling and therapy or medical MJ.

Mind you, it would be particularly ridiculous to allow an exemption to a TSO who is tasked with siccing law enforcement on anyone who attempts to travel with medical MJ.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
However, since MJ does impair judgement and reflexes, are there not restrictions on those who are under the influence?
CBD is not psychoactive -- whether derived from cannabis or hemp -- and can be remarkably effective on chronic pain, inflammation, seizures and anxiety (for example) with few side effects. Perhaps you are conflating cannabidiol (CBD) with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)? CBD by itself is about as intoxicating as a couple of aspirin. CBD even with a percentage point or two of THC (well below the psychoactive threshold for most) can be even more effective. Not suggesting that all MJ used by medical MJ cardholders is pure or nearly pure CBD, just that there are thousands of strains each with its own effects profile.

Originally Posted by chollie View Post
I am against any TSO being on medical MJ. They are federal employees and MJ is still illegal at the federal level. No exemption is granted to wounded vets who have to make the difficult choice between addictive drug cocktails and impossible to get counseling and therapy or medical MJ.
I'm not sure I understand you here: are you saying vets are not permitted to use MMJ or even apply for a MMJ card if they wish to use VA services?

As for TSOs, I don't understand why anyone would want to deny their fellow citizens access to safe, effective medicine by virtue of being employed by a federal agency, especially if whatever they're taking does not impair them on the job. Additionally, better access to safer pain relief landside for ALL citizens means less incentive for SOME citizens to pilfer bags airside, whether for opioids or other items with high resale value.

Last edited by essxjay; Oct 23, 17 at 5:20 pm
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Old Oct 23, 17, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by essxjay View Post

As for TSOs, I don't understand why anyone would want to deny their fellow citizens access to safe, effective medicine by virtue of being employed by a federal agency, especially if whatever they're taking does not impair them on the job. Additionally, better access to safer pain relief landside for ALL citizens means less incentive for SOME citizens to pilfer bags airside, whether for opioids or other items with high resale value.
TSA screeners are AFAIK subject to drug testing and a positive result for a substance that's illegal under Federal law results in discipline or firing. The same is true of any other Federal job subject to drug testing - legalization at the state level doesn't change what's precluded for Federal employees. Right or wrong, that's the current status.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 9:23 pm
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Originally Posted by essxjay View Post
CBD is not psychoactive -- whether derived from cannabis or hemp -- and can be remarkably effective on chronic pain, inflammation, seizures and anxiety (for example) with few side effects. Perhaps you are conflating cannabidiol (CBD) with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)? CBD by itself is about as intoxicating as a couple of aspirin. CBD even with a percentage point or two of THC (well below the psychoactive threshold for most) can be even more effective. Not suggesting that all MJ used by medical MJ cardholders is pure or nearly pure CBD, just that there are thousands of strains each with its own effects profile.



I'm not sure I understand you here: are you saying vets are not permitted to use MMJ or even apply for a MMJ card if they wish to use VA services?

As for TSOs, I don't understand why anyone would want to deny their fellow citizens access to safe, effective medicine by virtue of being employed by a federal agency, especially if whatever they're taking does not impair them on the job. Additionally, better access to safer pain relief landside for ALL citizens means less incentive for SOME citizens to pilfer bags airside, whether for opioids or other items with high resale value.
I don't want to deny anyone access to safe effective medicine.

That said, MMJ is illegal at the federal level. It does not seem appropriate to exempt one particular group of federal employees from federal laws, particularly when those very employees are tasked with reporting the presence of state-legal MMJ to the authorities if it is detected.

If a TSO wants to use MMJ in lieu of big pharma meds, that TSO should do the same thing ordinary citizens are expected to do: follow federal law until such time as their legislators decide to vote to change the law and legalize MMJ at the federal level.
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Old Oct 23, 17, 9:52 pm
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This is getting towards Omni, but if a TSO is using cannabis or pharmaceuticals for pain relief, is it anyone's business unless they're impaired on the job? And as a passenger does the cause of the impairment change anything? Impaired is impaired. Cannabis or prescribed drug. Take the day off. You could argue that drugs also lead to mood changes, short of true impairment, some even causing aggressive behavior. But you'd be arguing in favor of cannabis over pharma.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 7:15 am
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Still Prohibited for Federal Employees

Fairly recent article from the Washington Post:

New guidance from the Office of Personnel Management on Wednesday is unambiguous and stern. Federal workforce rules remain unchanged for the roughly 4.1 million federal employees and military personnel across the U.S. The feds still consider marijuana an illegal drug, and possessing or using it is a crime.

“Heads of agencies are expected to advise their workforce that legislative changes by some states and the District of Columbia do not alter federal law, existing suitability criteria or Executive Branch policies regarding marijuana,” OPM Director Katherine Archuleta wrote in a memo posted on the agency Web site.
This certainly explains why clerks make a big deal about finding pot during bag checks.
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