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Clark County to study marijuana rules for Las Vegas airport

Updated June 23, 2017 - 4:27 pm

Recreational marijuana will soon be legal in Nevada, but travelers might not be able to light up at the airport.

The Clark County Commission will hold a public hearing Aug. 1 to consider whether to outlaw the possession, use or advertising of marijuana at McCarran International, Henderson Executive, North Las Vegas and other regional airports.

The move, airport officials said, is aimed at complying with federal laws that prohibit the use of marijuana.

Violators would be charged with a misdemeanor and could face an unspecified fine.

“It’s only recently that laws concerning marijuana have changed and allow for more widespread use in Nevada,” airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said.

“The airport is unique in that we have federal regulations that we have to abide by, and we work with federal partners at a variety of levels dealing with aviation and security,” Crews said. “So, we need to have a special regulation that specifically deals with marijuana.”

Clark County’s proposed law is the opposite of what’s practiced at Los Angeles International Airport, where airline travelers possessing up to one ounce of marijuana are allowed to board planes, said LAX Police Officer Rob Pedregon.

Pedregon said the Los Angeles airport police follows the laws of California, where recreational use of marijuana is allowed.

“If the TSA finds something, then they will notify us because we are the primary law enforcement agency at the airport,” Pedregon said. “We respond, we investigate, and if it’s a legal usable quantity, then the passenger is allowed to travel on.”

Back in Clark County, a business impact report will be submitted July 18 to the County Commission outlining how the proposed law might impact marijuana dispensaries or businesses operating on Department of Aviation property.

The County Commission could take a vote following the public hearing, set for 10 a.m. Aug. 1 at the county’s Government Center, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in Las Vegas.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

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