So-called cannabis amnesty boxes have been set up at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports at the end of every federal Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, Block Club Chicago reports. Chicago Police Department spokeswoman Maggie Huynh indicated the boxes would be checked regularly by the Chicago Police Department who would file reports on whatever they find inside and then disposed of.
“The boxes are where travelers can safely dispose of cannabis and cannabis products prior to travel, as they still remain illegal under federal law.” — Huynh, to Block Club Chicago
In 2018, California’s LAX airport said they would allow passengers 21-and-older to carry cannabis through the airport but the products would not be permitted through TSA checkpoints. Toronto, Canada’s Pearson International Airport has also installed cannabis disposal bins for travelers leaving the country, prompting people on social media to declare the airport had set up “free weed bins.” Airport officials called that description “resoundingly incorrect.”
“Once something goes into the container, it doesn’t come out,” Greater Toronto Airport Authority spokesperson Robin Smith told Gizmodo in 2018. “The new cannabis disposal containers will be securely closed to allow deposits into them, with nothing taken out. These containers will continue to be monitored.”
Following the installation of the boxes in Chicago airports, comedian Hannibal Buress joked that the new boxes are “a waste of metal.”
Following the launch of recreational sales in Denver, Colorado, city airport officials banned the sale of cannabis-themes souvenirs; the airport had already banned cannabis possession on airport property.
Last year the TSA said some cannabis products – including hemp-derived CBD and cannabis-derived pharmaceutical Epidiolex – would be allowed on board airplanes in checked luggage. The agency’s policies don’t direct its agents to search for cannabis or other illegal drugs but would “refer the matter to law enforcement” regardless of whether the airport’s home state had legalized cannabis.
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