Travelers caught with illegal drugs at Nashville International Airport are allowed to go free without arrest about half the time, The Tennessean reports. Airport screeners and police have found an increasing number of people with illegal drugs – a side effect of searches for weapons, bombs, and other illegal items that ramped up after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Chief Duane McGray of the airport’s Department of Public Safety said officers were using more discretion as the intense bag searches continue and his officers encounter small amounts of marijuana. McGray would prefer that his officers be available to protect the public from more serious threats, rather than spending hours writing reports and in court for minor marijuana crimes.
Officers used discretion when screeners found two marijuana cigarettes in a bag checked at curbside by then-Williamson County middle school principal Doug Crosier and his wife, who said they had no knowledge of the marijuana. Before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, such marijuana probably would have gone through without notice, McGray said. Police allowed Crosier, who has since retired, and his wife to continue on their trip, and wrote a report. Crosier retired amid an investigation into the matter by the school district. “If the person is in a position of public trust involving children, the employer probably has a higher trust in protecting those children,” McGray said.