Before you get excited about the idea of a fully operational marijuana vending machine, let me preface this by saying it’s not nearly as cool as it sounds.
A marijuana vending machine sounds like a stoner’s fantasy invention: just feed a few dollars into a bill sucker, and out pops an eighth ounce. No uncomfortable chit-chat with a drug dealer, no giving your address to a pharmacist, no hassle—just a simple money-and-goods exchange. In fact, the only way to improve on such an invention would be to make it contain not just weed, but Bugles and Dr. Pepper as well. In theory it’s so convenient it’s almost weird.
But unfortunately this invention—the Autospence vending machine, which recently opened in California—doesn’t make picking up marijuana easier. In fact, according to Dvice, its purpose is to “add another layer of security to medical marijuana transactions.”
To purchase a serving you need to use a special swipe card, verify your thumbprint, and then enter a secret pin code, all while cameras monitor your movements. Offering marijuana strains named Skywalker, Bio Diesel, Platinum and others, after verification you use a touch panel to make your selection.
Whaaaat? Finger prints and secret codes and camera monitors? You’re not launching a missile, you’re picking up a prescription.
I suppose the one upside to the whole operation is that as the law progressively loosens its grip on Marijuana restrictions, the machines themselves will already be in place. All they’ll have to do is remove the fingerprint scanning and add the Bugles.