Tourists preparing to get on a flight from Las Vegas can now dump their leftover legal marijuana in metal boxes at the airport called “marijuana amnesty drop boxes”.
Marijuana is legal in the state of Nevada, but you still cannot have it with you when you are preparing to fly out of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Pot is still banned under federal, which means passengers are not allowed to carry weed onto airplanes or transport it across state lines, even if both the states have legalized it. So, in order to help flyers in avoiding to break the law, a number of big green bins were placed outside of the airport to encourage people to dispose of their stashes and other substances before entering the premises and going through security.
They were called amnesty boxes, and were installed outside the terminals of McCarran. The green-colored boxes were bolted to the ground, monitored, and “serviced multiple times a week,” according to the Las Vegas Sun.
The bright green boxes were installed February 16 at McCarran International Airport as a way for travelers to safely get rid of cannabis or other items that might not be allowed through Transportation Security Authority checkpoints. Recreational cannabis sales were legalized in the state of Nevada on July 1, 2017, but that doesn’t mean it’s legal everywhere.
In October of last year, Clark County, home to Sin City, passed an ordinance outlawing possession of cannabis, marijuana, and THC on McCarran grounds.
“Marijuana is prohibited on airport property,” said airport spokesperson Christine Crews
“You could face a citation fine, or you could face arrest depending on what those amounts are,” she added.
The boxes are located just outside the airport terminal so items can be left before entering the building, no questions asked.
“The drawer pulls out; you drop your stuff in and you close it. You can’t really get your hand in there,” Crews said. “If you start tampering with them, you’d be detected pretty quickly.”
That doesn’t mean a free stash for someone, however.
“They [the contractor] will be collecting whatever’s surrendered and disposing of it appropriately, depending on what contents are in these boxes,” Crews said. “We don’t want your pot; leave it somewhere else, that’d be fine.”
Crews also noted that because cannabis is still illegal under United States laws, the drop boxes will enable the airport to avoid being complicit in smuggling marijuana across state lines.
“They will be collecting whatever’s surrendered and disposing of it appropriately, depending on what contents are in these boxes,” Crews added. “We don’t want your pot; leave it somewhere else, that’d be fine.”
The boxes give travelers an opportunity to toss out any items that may not get past the Transportation Security Administration and could possibly cause someone to get arrested.
Changing guidelines surrounding weed at the Las Vegas airport led to a county ordinance in October last year, which officially banned possessing marijuana, cannabis or THC on properties owned by the Department of Aviation.
“You could face a citation fine, or you could face arrest depending on what those amounts are,” Crews stated.
It is still illegal to carry pot across state lines, “so being a federally regulated industry, we want to make sure we are more than compliant with their standards,” Crews added.
So far, 13 of the amnesty boxes have been installed in high-traffic areas of the airport. Ten are located at the terminal, with three more at the car rental complex. In the first week of operation, the boxes have collected several vape pens and a plastic bag of pills, according to reports.