As COVID-19 vaccination rates dip due to decreased demand, states are finding ever more creative ways to incentivize their citizens to get the shot. States like California and Ohio recently announced lotteries that will give away millions while other states are offering more creative giveaways. Alabama is offering citizens a chance to drive their own cars around the historic Talladega Superspeedway for two laps. Most recently, the state of Washington announced its “joints for jabs” campaign which will give free marijuana joints to citizens who receive a vaccination.
What is The “Joints For Jabs” Campaign
According to an announcement from the Washington state Liquor and Cannabis Board, the joints for jabs campaign will partner with retail cannabis licensed businesses throughout the state to provide a free joint to any citizen who receives the shot at a cannabis business participating as a vaccination clinic. The announcement stipulates that dispensaries may only give out a single pre-rolled joint and no other marijuana products and that the offer is only valid the same day to individuals who receive the vaccine at the event.
The joints for jabs campaign is another effort, albeit a unique one, by a state to increase demand for vaccinations as the United States has seen vaccination rates dip below a million a day for the first time since mid-January. Even President Joe Biden discussed some of the incentives at play when he said, “Get a shot and have a beer,” referencing Anheuser-Busch’s promise to buy Americans 21 and over a “round of beer” when the country reaches 70% vaccinations.
While President Biden advocated for Americans to get the vaccine in order to receive a beer, the state of Washington is providing a healthier alternative for many with their joints for jabs campaign. Though many use cannabis solely for recreational purposes, millions of Americans use it medicinally to treat any number of chronic or acute conditions. Some may prefer their free preroll from the joints for jabs campaign to be high in THC while others will prefer one higher in CBD.
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Will the Campaign Have A Legitimate Impact?
We have seen a number of vaccine incentives that have had a sizable impact so far. Though the rules outlined by the Liquor and Cannabis Board are stringent as to who can receive free marijuana and what products they can receive, the incentive of a free joint will drive people who may have been on the fence about vaccinations. The state of Washington currently has fully vaccinated a respectable 49% of the population but they hope the joints for jabs campaign will push that number even higher. It remains to be seen if this will actually be the case, but if the campaign gets even a few thousand more people to get vaccinated it can be considered a success.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.