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California deploys dope-vending machines

Prescription only, sadly

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California residents with a genuine need to skin up can now avail themselves of marijuana vending machines, the BBC reports.

While whacky baccy is illegal under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act and the US federal government "does not currently recognise any legitimate medical use", 11 states do allow it to be used medically, primarily for pain relief.

Accordingly, anyone with a prescription and willing to be fingerprinted and photographed can make their way to either of two mechanical outlets which became operational yesterday. One of these is sited in the Herbal Nutrition Centre in Los Angeles, where owner Vince Mehdizadeh told news outlet KWTX News 10 that users will be issued with an ID card to allow them to score.

He elaborated: "They'll be greeted by a security guard right there. They'll slide the card in and they'll fingerprint in to verify that it's them. A camera takes a picture of them, verifying that they're actually at the machine. And they get the medicine and they move on."

Whether the machines will offer a tempting range of dope varieties and the option to buy a box of munchies-busting Rice Krispies is not noted. ®

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