Monday, January 28, 2008
Headlines: Marijuana Vending Machines in California
California has begun to introduce marijuana vending machines into the public for use by people with prescriptions for the controlled substance.
Patients with a valid prescription will be permitted to apply for a vending machine card. To get this card they must undergo a fingerprinting and photo process, which will be stored in a database for the machine’s use. When a cardholder approaches a machine they will have to submit their fingerprint and have their picture taken again, to ensure that the person with the card is, in fact, the person with the prescription. The machines will also be guarded by security guards who will provide a human element to the checking process.
This could be a new trend that will eventually be applied to other prescription drugs, allowing less expensive and less educated personal to monitor the machines rather than highly skilled pharmacists. For now though, the machines are limited to dispensing medicinal marijuana.
Medicinal marijuana is reputed to be an effective painkiller and an appetite stimulator for patients with diseases or medications that cause chronic nausea. Although there are currently eleven US states that allow medicinal marijuana use, it is still considered a controlled substance by the federal government and is banned under the 1970 Controlled Substance Act.