The marijuana machine - Macleans.ca

The marijuana machine

Activists test laws in Auckland, where a new vending machine dispenses one-gram bags of cannabis

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It’s the kind of plan that might only be hatched by somebody actually in the midst of smoking a great big fatty: if you buy your weed from a commercial vending machine, that means no one’s selling, therefore no one’s dealing, so the police have no one to collar.

That logic is currently being tested at the Daktory, a club lodged in warehouse space in Auckland, New Zealand, where a group of activists permits members to flout the country’s drug laws and consume marijuana. Inside, a vending machine now dispenses one-gram bags of the drug for $20 in New Zealand currency (about $16 Canadian). Reports say leaders of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) argue that because a machine is making the marijuana available, no individual can be charged with selling it, a crime punishable by fines and imprisonment.

The dispenser has proven very popular. At the same time, it has also attracted some unwanted attention. The Daktory’s website warns that police recently said they planned to set up a checkpoint outside the club. “They will be speaking to customers when they leave and possibly arresting anyone with weed,” the caution reads. “However, you will be able to still consume cannabis in the Daktory before leaving.”