Pipes and bongs are not typically considered to be essential items when traveling, but some people out there are quite dedicated to their smoking habits. Whatever the reason is, maybe you’re flying to Colorado and you really want to show your friend your limited edition hand blown glass pieces, then you have to be aware of a couple things before you make any mistakes you might regret.
TSA, airport security in the United States, is a federal entity and as such they comply to federal laws and legislature. Even if weed has been seeing a ton of legalization across the world and the states, for medical or recreational use, there have been no changes at all to where the plant stands in terms of federal legality. That’s why you can’t fly home with some Grade A kush in your luggage even if you’re flying to a legal state. To fly with any illicit drugs is a huge risk and necessary of great smuggling efforts which are one hundred percent not recommended whatsoever.
Luckily, pipes and bongs are not illicit drugs, and while drug paraphernalia is technically federally illegal as well, and the possession of which can be punishable by law, there’s a great loophole when it comes to these glass tools. The reason they’re able to be sold so nonchalantly in so many stores is because of the retailer’s note that is usually displayed stating that “These products are for tobacco use only”. By saying this, pipes and bongs become exempt from any laws which would prohibit their sale. So if you want to fly with yours, you need to make sure it can be recognized as having been used for anything but tobacco.
That simply means you need to do a crazy diligent industrial level job cleaning it up in every little corner and crevice. If you manage to make it bright and shining like on the day you bought it before it ever saw the light of day, then you’re good to go. If there are no residues of any kind inside or outside of it, no security officer can argue that it ever was or will be used for illegal activities.