Voters in Nevada voted to legalize cannabis for adult use in November of 2016, and recreational sales began inside established medical marijuana dispensaries in July of 2017. Then in October, an ordinance went into effect that banned the possession of marijuana in any airport in Clark County, NV.
This brings us to last week, when authorities began installing marijuana disposal drop boxes at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The boxes are large green metal bins that are bolted to the ground and can only be used to put something in; you can’t just reach in and pull something out. Bins were also installed at McCarran’s car rental facility, Henderson Executive Airport, and the North Las Vegas Airport.
“The drawer pulls out; you drop your stuff in and you close it. You can’t really get your hand in there,” said Christine Crews, McCarran’s public information administrator. “If you start tampering with them, you’d be detected pretty quickly.”
The boxes themselves are for people leaving the area who still have recreational marijuana products on their person or in their luggage; now they have a place to dispose of them safely and legally. If caught with more than an ounce of marijuana in the airport, you’ll be charged with a felony. If under an ounce, your products are confiscated anyway.
The boxes can also be used to dispose of prescription medications. “We’ve had a variety of other things disposed of in the bins,” Crews told CNN. “For example, I was sent a picture of one of the bins containing pills, vape pens, rolled tobacco-looking products, prescription bottles and marijuana-infused drinks.”
The boxes are similar to ones that were installed in Colorado and there are likely many more to come in states where recreational cannabis is legal. Federal law still hangs over the legalization industry, and federal law is enough to keep most airports from even allowing state-legal cannabis on their property.
And while drop boxes are great and will be utilized by many, the best thing to do is use your products while you’re still in Vegas (or any other city or town with similar boxes). Plan your trip well; you’re probably going to lose a ton of dough at the casino, so there’s no reason to waste money on recreational marijuana. Maybe start a tradition of having a big party to go through the rest of the stash before your flight home!