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McCarran Airport's amnesty boxes allows travelers to discard illegal drugs before flying

LAS VEGAS - Marijuana is legal in the state of Nevada, but you can't have it with you when you're preparing to fly out of McCarran International Airport.  So, to help flyers avoid breaking the law, a number of big green bins have been placed outside of the airport to encourage people to dispose of their marijuana and other substances before entering the premises.

They're called amnesty boxes, and they're installed outside the terminals of McCarran.  Travelers can't miss them; they're kelly green and the size of a mailbox.

"Marijuana is prohibited on airport property," said Christine Crews, spokesperson for McCarran International Airport.

The bins give travelers a chance to toss out any items that may not get past TSA, that could possibly cause someone to be arrested. 

"I think they're great, said Michael Aldaya, visiting from Minnesota.  "This is probably where you should dispose your drugs."
   
Cristen Drummond, Reporter: "Do you have any to dispose of?
Michael Aldaya, traveler: "Uhhh...(laughter). I don't want to disclose that right now."

"I feel like anyone who probably has some sort of cannabis, weed, would probably do it before they threw it away," said Shannon Johnson, visiting from San Francisco.

The airport installed 13 big green bins last Friday. The bins were set up in high traffic areas.  

Ten were set up outside the terminals, and another three are around the McCarran rent-a-car center. 

A drawer drop prevents someone from reaching inside while bolts keep the boxes on the ground. All of the boxes are monitored regularly and serviced by a contractor. 

"They 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."

Changing guidelines surrounding marijuana at the airport led to a county ordinance in October that officially banned possessing marijuana, cannabis or THC on Department of Aviation owned property.

"You could face a citation fine, or you could face arrest depending on what those amounts are," said Crews.

It's still illegal to carry marijuana across state lines, "so being a federally regulated industry, we want to make sure we are more than compliant with their standards," Crews said.
 


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