“What Happens Here, Stays Here” has been the official tourism slogan for Las Vegas for nearly 15 years. This week, a new twist was added to one of the most successful ad campaigns.
McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas installed more than a dozen marijuana amnesty drop boxes, which give passengers the opportunity to toss their cannabis before going through the security checkpoint. The green receptacles are located in high-traffic areas and are securely bolted to the ground. An amnesty box is also located at the airport’s consolidated car rental facility.
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McCarran spokesperson Christine Crews told the Las Vegas Sun:
“The drawer pulls out; you drop your stuff in and you close it. You can’t really get your hand in there. If you start tampering with them, you’d be detected pretty quickly.”
Nevada’s recreational cannabis retail program launched last month. But, of course, marijuana still remains federally illegal. Transporting cannabis via airplane also remains illegal, since a federal agency (FAA) regulates the industry.
McCarran is not the first airport to install these amnesty receptacles. Travelers departing from Denver International also will find the boxes throughout the terminals. In Southern California, a cannabis company placed ads in the bottom of the bins at the security checkpoints at Ontario International Airport. The message was clear: “Cannabis is legal. Traveling with it is not. Leave it in California.”
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Las Vegas’ creative slogan was adopted in the summer of 20o3. The tourism board was looking for a way to promote something other than gambling.
The case study of the campaign stated:
The emotional bond between Las Vegas and its customers was freedom. Freedom on two levels. Freedom to do things, see things, eat things, wear things, feel things. In short, the freedom to be someone we couldn’t be at home. And freedom from whatever we wanted to leave behind in our daily lives. Just thinking about Vegas made the bad stuff go away. At that point the strategy became clear. Speak to that need. Make an indelible connection between Las Vegas and the freedom we all crave.
Freedom. It smells like cannabis.
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