McCarran Airport now offers passengers a way to let the unused cannabis they purchased in Vegas to stay in Vegas. Since cannabis is still federally illegal, the transportation of it via a US airport, even to another legal state, would be considered a federal offense. The purpose of the Cannabis Disposal Receptacles is to prevent passengers from either over-consuming their leftover purchases, or giving them away to strangers, potentially underaged.
Green colored cannabis/prescription disposal bins are located at various locations outside of the airport. Thus far, there are 13 receptacles that have been bolted to the ground and located in high traffic areas. The move was initiated by the Department of Aviation after Clark County lawmakers placed a ban on the possession and advertising of cannabis at the airport in September of 2017. McCarran Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews stated…”The amnesty boxes are offered as a way to help people comply with this ordinance.”
Tourists and visitors aware of Nevada’s recreational cannabis laws are visiting dispensaries to exercise their legal right to indulge and medicate. However, many who visit are unaware that although it may be legal to purchase cannabis from the almost 50 dispensaries in Las Vegas, it’s still illegal to consume anywhere, other than a private residence. Due to precedents set by the Nevada Gaming Commission, consumption of cannabis is not allowed in any of the casinos or attached hotels. Public consumption is not allowed and if caught, offenders can face a $600 fine (read more about this here).
Possession of up to an (1) ounce of flower cannabis or up to 1/8 ounce of concentrated cannabis would be legal for anyone to purchase. Tourists that did not dispose of their cannabis properly were interviewed and questioned by Las Vegas Metro Police to determine if anyone was carrying a felony amount. Officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez stated that no citations have been issued since the ordinance ban was placed back in September of 2017.
Many have begun joking about the potential security breaches the receptacles could face but airport spokeswoman Crews mentioned that the bins would be monitored to prevent any tampering. “The drawer pulls out; you drop your stuff in and you close it. You can’t really get your hand in there. If you start tampering with them, you’d be detected pretty quickly,” Crews has stated. A contractor has been authorized to collect and dispose of the prescriptions & cannabis a few times a week. The Department of Aviation is looking to install at least seven more receptacles at McCarran, nearby Executive Airport and possibly more to smaller airports in the Las Vegas area.
By Tracy Jerome Chisley (@PoeticPanther)
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