Los Angeles The city that popularized the fast food drive-thru has a new innovation: 24-hour medical marijuana vending machines.
Patients suffering from chronic pain, loss of appetite and other ailments that marijuana is said to alleviate can get their pot with a dose of convenience at the Herbal Nutrition Center, where a large machine will dole out the drug around the clock.
"Convenient access, lower prices, safety, anonymity," inventor and owner Vincent Mehdizadeh said, extolling the benefits of the machine.
But federal drug agents say the invention may need unplugging. "Somebody owns (it), it's on a property and somebody fills it," said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Jose Martinez. "Once we find out where it's at, we'll look into it and see if they're violating laws."
At least three dispensaries in the city, including two belonging to Mehdizadeh, have installed vending machines to distribute the drug to people who carry cards authorizing marijuana use.