Man Steals Weed From Cannabis Amnesty Box

One man's trash is another man's treasure…at least, that's the case at Chicago Airport.

Is stealing from the garbage really stealing? This is a conundrum that Chicago police have had to wrestle with following the discovery that a man had stolen from a cannabis amnesty box at the Chicago Airport.

But what exactly is a cannabis amnesty box, you ask?

Well, alongside the addition of cannabis dispensaries throughout Illinois, was the addition of blue metal boxes in Illinoisian Airports. The blue boxes are being called "Cannabis Amnesty Boxes" and are designed for residents to dispose of their newly legal cannabis before boarding a flight.

The boxes are an initiative started by Chicago's Department of Aviation, and serviced by the Chicago Police Department as taking cannabis across state lines currently remains illegal. While cannabis is legal in 11 U.S. states, the plant remains federally illegal, and only in Los Angeles Airport can you take cannabis with you on a flight, assuming you are travelling to a state where it the plant is also legal.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, just two weeks after the installation of these amnesty boxes, police noticed that one of the blue bins was missing cannabis following a routine check of the bins. After reviewing the airport surveillance footage police saw a man reaching into the bin, taking out the marijuana and walking off.

On the theft, Anthony Guglielmi, the chief communications officer with the Chicago Police commented that "Cannabis Amnesty Boxes have been placed at Chicago's airports so travelers have the opportunity to ensure compliance with federal law, as well as the local laws at their destination. Tampering with them, or attempting to remove anything placed inside, is a crime, and detectives are investigating this matter."

"In the meantime, new, permanent theft prevention boxes are expected to replace the temporary ones in the coming weeks, making them more secure and preventing anyone from further accessing materials dropped inside."

For now, it seems, while the "trash" inside Chicago's blue boxes may indeed be a treasure to many people, simply reaching in and grabbing weed from the amnesty boxes won't fly at the airport.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.

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