Washington state has resorted to marijuana giveaways in order to sway the unvaccinated public to receive their COVID-19 shot.
What are the details?
The state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board announced that it will begin permitting state-licensed cannabis retailers to “provide one joint to adult consumers who receive COVID-19 vaccination at an in-store vaccination clinic,” USA Today reported, noting that the board is referring to the program as “Joints for Jabs.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has said that he will lift the remaining coronavirus-related restrictions on June 30 or once the state’s 16-and-older population hit a 70% vaccination threshold, having received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. As of Monday, the state database reported that 63% of those in that demographic have initiated their vaccinations.
The offer is good only for people age 21 years and older.
“So many states declared cannabis retailers and employees as essential early on in the pandemic,” New England-based cannabis brand and business consultant Ben Mervis told the outlet. “This is a poetic opportunity for them to not only give back but to incentivize efforts to create safer, vaccinated communities.”
According to Insider, “edibles and bongs” are not included in the promotion — only pre-rolled joints. The joint must be claimed at the time of vaccination, and the incentive is in effect until July 12.
Marijuana isn’t the only recreational drug permitted to be used as a vaccination incentive: In May, the state board also gave the green light to bars, breweries, wineries, and restaurants giving out free beer, wine, and cocktails to people who were able to prove that they’d been vaccinated against COVID-19.
KCPQ-TV on Tuesday reported that other statewide incentives feature cash drawings up to $1 million and “hundreds of other lottery prizes.”
The station added that stores must “buy any joints they intend to give away from licensed producers or processors,” and are required to “keep records of any product given away.”