LAS VEGAS

High rollers leaving Sin City now have the convenience of jettisoning their marijuana in one of 20 green “amnesty boxes” at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and two other smaller airports in Clark County.

Although recreational marijuana has been legal in many Nevada jurisdictions since July 1, 2017, it’s still a federal crime and its possession at the international airport runs afoul of federal compliance. Clark County’s Board of Commissioners banned the advertisement and possession of marijuana at its airports in September 2017.

Bolted to the floor and housed in bright green metal boxes with the words “Disposal for Prescription and Recreational Drugs” beckoning paranoid travelers, the receptacles give forgetful fliers—and let’s face it, marijuana consumers can be a little wanting when it comes to short-term memory skills—the opportunity to abandon their quasi-legal stash before encountering the non-marijuana-friendly straights at TSA checkpoints.

 

Under the Nevada recreational marijuana law, those 21 and older with a valid ID can purchase up to an ounce of marijuana and only consume it in private homes, not in public places such as casinos.

Even though recreational marijuana use is legal under state law in states such as Washington, Oregon, Colorado, California, Nevada and Washington, carrying it past a security checkpoint, which are operated by federal agencies, can trigger law enforcement action. So it's best to avoid testing your luck.

By most accounts, however, airport law enforcement officials who have been called in to investigate legal quantities of marijuana in states where it is legal have been lax at assessing penalties or making arrests. It’s estimated that one-in-five Americans now lives in a state where marijuana has been legalized.

Las Vegas-based Logistical Solutions installed and maintains the receptacles under a $114,059 contract that runs through the end of the fiscal year and is funded by the airport, according to an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, so no open positions for marijuana sanitation engineers are currently being advertised.

Follow these links for a story on how Colorado is managing its legal marijuana market and a profile on the operator of a marijuana tradeshow, both from Meetings Today.