While some places have offered lotteries, gift cards, and scholarships as incentives for the COVID-19 vaccine, residents of one California town are being offered something else: joints. The first 150 people who receive their shot during a July 24 vaccine drive in Long Beach, California will get a free, pre-rolled joint. The offer is to help persuade younger people to get their shot. “It’s definitely going to be a hot one and we want people to be able to connect with one another, especially after this year of staying safer at home,” James Suazo, the head of organizer Long Beach Forward, told LAist. “For Long Beach—it’s part of our culture—one of the best ways to do that is over a joint.” The gift will be available to residents 21 and over, who will be given a token to cash in at a local dispensary.
Long Beach isn’t the first place to pass a puff for a shot. Organizers have launched similar “Joints for Jabs” drives in New York, Washington, D.C., and Washington state.
Update: After publication, the City of Long Beach clarified to The Daily Beast that they are not affiliated with “Joints for Jabs” and the promotional event is “currently under review by the City.”