Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/25/dia_skin_up_plan/

Let air passengers smoke dope, say Denver potheads

How to beat air rage, man

By Lester Haines

Posted in Bootnotes, 25th June 2008 13:17 GMT

A pro-marijuana group has come up with an ingenious plan to combat air rage - let passengers skin up before flying out of Denver International Airport (DIA) which has become "a hot spot for arrests of drunken, unruly airplane passengers", according to the Denver Post.

Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, aka SAFER, is on a mission to "educate the public about the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol to both the user and to society".

SAFER's executive director Mason Tavert highlighted a case last week during which a woman became "so belligerent that she broke through her plastic handcuffs and punched a flight attendant in the face." He insisted: "This madness has got to stop. And we're providing a very viable solution."

While SAFER is not against booze being sold in DIA, it reckons marijuana "alleviates anxiety for people who are afraid to fly and that passengers could use pot in the smoking lounges at the airport as a safer alternative to alcohol".

The plan is not actually as implausible as it sounds, since the Denver Marijuana Policy Review Panel recently "approved a recommendation to city officials ... that the Denver City Attorney's Office should adopt a formal policy to stop prosecuting cases of private adult marijuana possession".

While DIA is under FAA jursidiction, and therefore bound by federal law which deeply frowns on dope smoking, SAFER argues that since the airport's smoking lounge is "outside of security", it's the responsibility of Denver Police. Accordingly, anxious passengers might use it avail themselves of Denver's new "lowest law enforcement priority" regarding weed.

However, DIA spokesman Chuck Cannon said he "does not foresee marijuana smoking in the airport", stressing: "Marijuana is illegal isn't it?" ®

Bootnote

Thanks to Mike Richards for the tip-off.