Cannabis amnesty boxes are supposed to provide an easy out for people who are carrying weed in an airport. This hasn’t been the case.
Following the decriminalization of marijuana in Chicago, authorities wanted to remind people that while marijuana might be legal in their state, it isn’t legal in others, much less on flights. So the Chicago Police Department added some bright green amnesty boxes to two of their main airports, where people could put their weed and leave the state, facing no repercussions. The catch? No one uses them.
“The boxes, placed at the end of every TSA checkpoint at both O’Hare and Midway, were in place once the new cannabis law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The boxes are where travelers can safely dispose of cannabis and cannabis products prior to travel, as they still remain illegal under federal law,” Maggie Huynh, spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department, told USA Today back in 2020.
The amnesty boxes are located in the city’s two principal airports, locations where there should be plenty of traffic. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, since January 2020, there have only been 34 collections made from these boxes. This information was gathered via Chicago Police logs, which go into even deeper detail as to how useless these boxes are.
Only half of the logs show that cannabis or something leafy that could be misconstrued as cannabis are placed in these boxes. The other half is made up of plastic bags and other forms of trash, showing that people confuse these boxes with regular trash bins.
— Kevin Davis (@KevDavis) January 3, 2020
While clearly made with good intentions and the wish to prevent trouble for people who have weed on themselves in the wrong place, airports haven’t made any arrests regarding cannabis. The only weed-related altercation that occurred following the addition of the amnesty boxes was an instance where someone managed to steal some weed before the police could retrieve it. The person escaped, but the amnesty boxes are now bolted to the floor.
For now, it appears that amnesty boxes don’t serve much of a purpose, outside of holding trash. Now on to the important question: what happens with that weed?