It was bound to happen eventually. And it was bound to happen in Colorado, one of the first two states (along with Washington) to legalize pot. What is “it,” you’re wondering? Oh, just the state’s very first pot vending machine. It’s not the country’s first weed machine because Colorado is following in California’s footsteps (but of course isn’t everything and everyone following in Cali’s footsteps?)
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So an oversized and obnoxious-looking green machine was recently wheeled onto the patio of Avon, Montana’s Smokehouse to get people psyched—or something—about the forthcoming vending machine, dubbed the ZaZZZ. Yes, very soon, regular citizens— at lease those with legal pot prescription cards—will be able to simply pull a lever to grab some tasty weed-y edibles. The machine will scan people’s Rx cards before dispensing anything though, so average Joes and (Mary) Janes who don’t legally need weed can’t get too crazy or anything.
What are the benefits of buying your stuff from the machine instead of from real people in a shop? Well, American Green founder Stephen Shearin told The Cannabist that the machine will be “great for shy folk.” (Hmm, not totally clear on that logic, but whatevs.)
Another pot vending company, the Los Angeles-based Medbox, has also been dispensing marijuana to licensed consumers but their vending machines won’t just stand alone; they make sure the dispenser is behind the counter at a supply shop. In fact, the company’s founder seems pretty adamantly against having machines that folks can stroll right up and buy pot from. “We as a company support bans on direct-access vending machines,” Vincent Mehdizadeh assured The Cannabist. “Competitors in our space are trying to do that and we wanted to separate ourselves immediately because social sentiment isn’t there yet. It might be in five years. But in the meantime it’s better to be safe.”
Of course, even though the general public might not be familiar with (or a fan of) the pot vending idea, that doesn’t mean that more and more people aren’t supporting the legalization of the green stuff. Indeed, the stigma around medical marijuana use seems to be declining all the time. According to Marijuana Policy Reform, “An overwhelming majority of voters in [U.S.] national polls support allowing medical marijuana—with the polls consistently finding 60% to 80% support.” The organization’s report also notes that a majority—52 percent—of Americans generally support making marijuana use legal.