Chicago airports install cannabis amnesty boxes — Fedor Selivanov / Shutterstock

Chicago airports install cannabis amnesty boxes

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Passengers can throw away their legal recreational marijuana before boarding their flights

As the recreational use of cannabis became legal in the state of Illinois on 1 January, both Chicago airports — O’Hare and Midway — have decided to help travelers avoid potential misunderstanding. 

Since carrying marijuana across state lines remains illegal, the airports have installed what they call cannabis amnesty boxes where passengers can dispose of recreational weed before boarding their flights. 


The bright blue boxes owned by the Department of Aviation and serviced by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) are available at every TSA checkpoint. 

The boxes should help keep pot and related products out of the wrong hands

A natural question can arise — what happens to the weed thrown away to the box? According to Maggie Huynh, a CPD spokesperson, using the boxes is a better solution than usual trash cans, because only policemen can empty them. 


The officers check the boxes regularly and if they find any pot or related products, they write a report and dispose of them as they would of narcotics. Huynh added that this should help keep marijuana out of the wrong hands.

Police said that even though weed is still illegal under federal law, they will not arrest people caught carrying what’s allowed under the new law.

O’Hare and Midway are not the first US airports to implement the cannabis amnesty box. Colorado Springs Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas have both installed similar boxes for passengers who need to get rid of marijuana before their travels. 

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