Washington State – In an effort to up vaccine doses, Washington State is offering free marijuana joints to anyone getting vaccinated. The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced the promotion would run through July 12 for anyone 21 years of age and older. State licensed cannabis retailers are permitted to give one free joint to vaccinators on their first or second dose of the shot. Arizona state dispensaries have also begun to give out free cannabis joints and edibles to incentivize their residents into getting vaccinated. Mint Cannabis Dispensary’s promotion is called “Snaxx for Vaxx ” and is backed by the Commerce Medical Group.
Some found humor in the promotion, while others are questioning why a promotion is needed for public health and safety. “I feel ripped off that I got my vaccine without any incentives,” Rielle Capler wrote on Twitter. Many who have already received their vaccine are taking to Twitter to question why incentives are even being given. Why getting the vaccine should just be a matter of concern for people to stay healthy and COVID-free, not to win prizes.
Isn’t this promotion a bit ironic as there are still hundreds of thousands of people still incarcerated for marijuana? One Twitter user by the name of @MeghanSias pointed out, “Joints for jabs when people are still in jail for weed makes my head spin.” According to the ACLU’s analysis, 52% of drug busts are for marijuana and most arrests are made for a small possession of the drug. Even more, there is a significant racial bias as Blacks are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana usage and possession than their white counterparts. While the country continues to legalize marijuana and profit from its immense sales, POC are still sitting in jail cells for the same drug.
Activists are continuously working to push politicians to create laws that would decriminalize marijuana possession and allow those incarcerated to be freed. The legalization of the drug can’t be fully justified until all of those in prison are expunged.