Updated: June 11, 2021 10:58:03 am
As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the world, more and more incentives are being offered to people to encourage them to get vaccinated. Now, after free food and drinks, in the USA, a state has allowed weed to entice people to get a shot!
After over a month of campaigning for ‘Joints for Jabs’, Washington State finally allowed adults to claim free marijuana after they receive a shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. The state’s liquor and cannabis board, while announcing the news this week, said the promotion would run through July 12.
During this time, state-licensed dispensaries, which are marijuana retailers, will be allowed to provide customers 21 or older with one “pre-rolled joint at their stores when they receive their first or second dose” at an active vaccine clinic, The Guardian reported.
According to US Today, the board said it received multiple requests from cannabis retail licensees to help promote the state vaccination efforts. However, the unique promotion only applies to joints, and not to any other cannabis products like edibles, the report clarified.
The board has already allowed breweries, wineries and restaurants to offer free drinks in exchange for proof of vaccination — though alcohol-serving establishments have not had to host a clinic on-site to give out their products, Associated Press noted. Other incentives being offered in Washington include free sports tickets and prize money of up to $1 million.
On April 20, a day widely considered the unofficial pot holiday, several activists started campaigning to urge the state to promote a weed giveaway to encourage residents who are still not sure about inoculation. “There are too many people denying science when it comes to the vaccines, and we want to say if you believe that cannabis is scientifically proven to be safe, then you also have to believe that the vaccine is safe because it too has been scientifically proven to be safe using clinical trials,” activist Adam Eidinger had told Reuters at the time.
In Washington, 48.7 per cent of the state’s residents are fully vaccinated, according to CNN‘s vaccine tracker. The initiative comes at a time when the state’s goal to get at least 70% of state adults vaccinated was hit, according to the state’s health department.
However, Washington isn’t the only state offering free weed. According to ABC News, in Arizona, a cannabis dispensary has been handing out free pre-rolled joints as well as gummy edibles as part of a “Snax for Vaxx” program in exchange for getting vaccinated.
According to the New York Times, a White House virus adviser said the Biden administration was encouraging states to be creative — including through lotteries or other financial incentives — to get people vaccinated. “The federal government is allowing states to use certain federal relief funds to pay for those types of programs,” the report added.
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