California Dispensaries Offer Free Pot to Voters

By Shawn Dwyer 06/02/14

If you live in San Jose and vote in tomorrow’s election, make sure to get your free weed. Some restrictions apply.

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It’s a medical marijuana user’s dream come true.

As part of an effort to lure more voters to the polls, several San Jose-based medical marijuana dispensaries will offer discounted or in some cases free weed to card carrying customers who can prove they voted in San Jose’s municipal election tomorrow.

Billed as “Weed for Votes,” the vote drive was hatched in an effort to push back against a city council proposal to pass new restrictive laws against medical marijuana by zoning dispensaries out of business. Citizens of the Silicon Valley city are set to vote on a new mayor as well as half of the 10-member city council.

"A lot of people don't know about the primary elections," said Dave Hodges of the Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition. "We have some important races including the mayoral race, and we want to make sure politicians know the power of our voters.”

Voters can cash in on their discounted or free medical pot by either presenting their “I Voted” sticker or a ballot stub. Only those already possessing medical marijuana cards will be permitted to take advantage of the offer.

"We have a huge opportunity to make a large impact in who runs San Jose," said John Lee, director of the cannabis coalition. "Although we may not have regulations on the June ballot, insuring the right politicians are elected is even more important."

Issues of the offer’s legality surfaced, however, with some congressional candidates stating that U.S. election codes strictly forbid giving something away in exchange for votes.

“There may be federal issues, but there’s also federal issues providing cannabis,” Hodges said. “It’s one of those gray areas.”

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.