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Officials Grapple With Limiting Pot Ads at McCarran Airport

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Officials in Nevada’s Clark County are grappling with how to limit advertisements for marijuana at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.

County commissioners on Tuesday discussed a proposed ordinance that would ban pot ads at the airport, a move officials have argued would keep the airport in compliance with federal law. But the ordinance’s language raised some concerns as it could be applied to taxis and other vehicles with advertisements that go through the airport.

“We want to do something that can be enforced,” commissioner Jim Gibson said. “Something that, first off, our community can support. Then something that does not strip the operational capacity of the airport.”

Dozens of retailers in Nevada began selling marijuana for recreational purposes on July 1. Adults can only consume the drug at private homes as lighting up in public remains illegal.

Billboards for dispensaries can be found along freeways in Las Vegas, where advertisements for liquor, strip clubs, escort services and injury attorneys abound.

But the start of recreational marijuana sales has prompted airports to fine-tune existing policy to remain in compliance with the federal government, which regulates the secure areas of airports and bans possessing marijuana.

Commissioners and the head of the county’s aviation department on Tuesday agreed that no ads for the drug should be placed on airport property. But officials moved to hold the issue and asked the district attorney’s office and the aviation department to refine the ordinance’s language.

Clark County aviation department director Rosemary Vassiliadis said the airport has previously allowed onto its property taxis bearing ads for medical marijuana, which went on sale in Nevada in 2015. She said the practice has not attracted scrutiny from the federal government.

“We have to be realistic about this,” Vassiliadis said. “We never had in mind to monitor ‘this cab can come here, this cab cannot.’ That’s not realistic.”

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