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LA Vending Machines Have Gone to Pot

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Slide your money in the slot, press the right alphanumeric combo, and down drops a treat for you to reach in and grab.

That's vending machine magic in a nutshell. But LA's got some new vending machines that are raising some eyebrows, and possibly violating some international treaties. They are the newly installed marijuana vending machines that are operating out of at least three of the city's medical marijuana dispensaries, and the International Narcotics Control Board is reportedly worried that the overall illegality of the drug is being ignored, and that the therapeutic use of marijuana has not been sufficiently proved effective.

Although California is one of 11 states that allows medical use of marijuana, the "Drug Enforcement Agency and other U.S. agencies have been shutting down major medical marijuana dispensaries throughout California in the last two years and charging their operators with felony distribution charges."

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Supporters of the machines--"which dispense 1/8th or 2/8th of an ounce of marijuana at a time"--make their purchase safer and more affordable. Users of the machine must carry cards authorizing them to purchase and use the drug from dispensaries.

The International Narcotics Control Board is calling for the machines to be shut down.

After the jump, a video clip from the news featuring the debut of the machines here in LA.

Pot Vending Machines in Los Angeles

LAist promises to investigate this one as, er, closely as possible.

Photo by r0bz via Flickr