Only in LA: Pot Vending Machines

Machine provides 'lower prices, safety, anonymity,' says inventor

By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 30, 2008 10:18 AM CST

(Newser) – Always on the leading edge, LA is now the first city to have 24-hour medical marijuana vending machines. The bulky black boxes scan patrons' fingerprints and a prepaid card, dispensing neat green envelopes of pot. The machines provide "convenient access, lower prices, safety, anonymity," the inventor tells the AP.

Federal drug officials, who don't recognize California's medical marijuana laws, may not be cool with the contraptions. "We'll look into it and see if they're violating laws," says a DEA agent. But the machines' customers say the new gadgets help prevent illegal use. "You have kids that want to get high and that's not what marijuana is for," says one.  

Los Angeles medical-cannabis dispensary owner Vincent Mehdizadeh poses with his new Marijuana vending machine installed at the Herbal Nutrition Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008. The black,...   (Associated Press)
Protesters march through L.A. in 2007 in support of medicinal marijuana legality.   (© Damon D'Amato)
"Convenient access, lower prices, safety, anonymity," inventor and owner Vincent Mehdizadeh said, extolling the benefits of the machine, but the DEA is skeptical.   (Index Open)
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Medical Marijuana Vending Machine   (CSPANJUNKIEdotORG (YouTube))
Marijuana vending machines   (benderxrd2 (YouTube))
Calif. Vending Machines Offer Medical Marijuana   (AssociatedPress (YouTube))

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