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Colorado airport installs 'amnesty' boxes for pot users

Colorado's groundbreaking decision to legalize recreational marijuana has led to the Colorado Springs Airport creating a "pot amnesty box" where travelers can discard the substance before catching flights out of the state.

Pot-smoking travelers at one Colorado airport who need to ditch their stash before boarding can deposit their marijuana in an "amnesty box."

The boxes began cropping up at Colorado Springs Airport on Wednesday to give passengers unaware it is illegal to carry pot on a plane the opportunity to dump their weed, The Gazette newspaper reported.

While Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use on Jan. 1, major airports in the state have banned it on their facilities to comply with federal agencies, which still consider it illegal.

Colorado Springs Airport officials reportedly prohibited pot based on federal aviation regulations that say it’s illegal to operate a civil aircraft if there’s known marijuana on board — now a high risk in Colorado thanks to the new law.

The airport didn’t immediately return a request from NBC News for comment.

The Colorado Springs police chief previously warned that TSA agents who find marijuana during screenings will call the cops, The Gazette reported.

Those caught trying to purposefully conceal their cannabis before flying face up to a $2,500 fine or jail time.

The state’s largest airport, Denver International, has a zero-tolerance pot policy.

“We will be asking passengers to discard (it) in trash receptacles,” airport spokeswoman Stacey Stegman wrote in an email.

Greg Phillips, aviation director of the Eagle County Airport near Vail, said the facility is considering amnesty boxes. A signage plan is also in the works.

For now, anyone caught with cannabis will be asked to remove it from the property or hand it over to officials.

“What we don’t want is them throwing it in the trash can,” Phillips said. “Then you have other people digging through the garbage.”

Related:

• Colorado's legal pot industry off to smoking start

• Growing the pot industry: A test of American ingenuity

• High demand: Price of legal marijuana soars in Colorado

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