In an effort to urge more people to get vaccinated and help the state to fully reopen more quickly, Washington State will allow adults to claim a free marijuana joint when they receive a Covid-19 vaccination shot, as announced by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board on Monday.
The program, called "Joints for Jab", is effective immediately and will continue until July 12. Customers aged 21 or older can be given one free pre-rolled joint by state-licensed cannabis businesses when they receive their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at an active, on-site clinic. Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board stated customers may only claim the joint from the retail location at the same visit they get vaccinated.
According to a New York Times database, 58 percent of people in Washington have got at least one dose of the vaccine, and 49 percent have been fully vaccinated. After the pace of vaccinations began to drop in mid-April, the board says it "received multiple requests from cannabis retail licensees to engage in promotions to support state vaccination efforts."
D.C. Marijuana Justice (DCMJ), a cannabis reform activist group, gave away more than 8 pounds of cannabis rolled into over 4,200 joints at 30 vaccination sites across Washington, D.C. on April 20, a day unofficially regarded as the pot holiday.
Recently, the board also approved the offering of a free beer, wine, or cocktail to those 21 or older who get vaccinated before June 30. Washington is not alone in finding creative ways to incentivize people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine: A cannabis store in Arizona, for example, is giving away pre-rolled joints and gummy edibles in return for getting vaccinated, ABC News reports.
Some other states have also started doing COVID-19 vaccination lotteries, in which residents who have been vaccinated can win cash prizes.
Over 42 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the case of Washington, Governor Jay Inslee plans to lift all restrictions at the end of June or when 70 percent of people aged 16 and up have received at least their first dose. Time will show whichever comes first.