Visitors to Las Vegas have a new way to help keep them out of trouble, as the local airport sets up amnesty boxes for flyers to dispose their weed or other recreational or prescription drugs, giving new meaning to the adage “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. ”
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 in an interview with local media. “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 amnesty boxes, as they are called, are about the size of a large trash can and have been bolted securely to the ground. A drawer drop, similar to those on a corner mailbox, prevents anyone from reaching inside and keeps the contents safely inside until they are removed by a contractor.
What Happens After A Drop-Off?
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.
“Being a federally regulated industry, we want to make sure we are more than compliant with their standards,” Crews said.
The amnesty boxes seem to be getting a positive reaction from travelers. “I think they’re great, said Michael Aldaya, a visitor from Minnesota. “This is probably where you should dispose your drugs.”
Aldaya hedged when asked if he had anything to leave in the boxes. “Uh… I don’t want to disclose that right now,” he joked.
But Shannon, in town from San Francisco, thinks the boxes might not get much use. “I feel like anyone who probably has some sort of cannabis, weed, would probably do it before they threw it away,” she said. “I’d be interested to see how full that gets.”
In the first week of operation, the boxes have collected several vape pens and a plastic bag of pills, according to reports.
Final Hit: Airport Sets Up Amnesty Boxes for Flyers to Dispose Their Weed
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.
The Clark County Department of Aviation, the airport operator, has plans to install seven more of the amnesty boxes at other sites including the Henderson Executive Airport and the North Las Vegas Airport, bringing the total number to 20.