Los Angeles, June 9: In a bid to encourage adults to get vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19), the US state of Washington is offering free marijuana. The "joints for jabs" initiative has been launched because the COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to slow in Washington, news agency AFP reported. The state legalised recreational marijuana sales in 2012. 'Get a Shot and Have a Beer': President Biden to Americans.

Those above 21 years of age can visit cannabis dispensaries where they will get one free, pre-rolled joint if they get vaccinated against COVID-19 at an in-store clinic. The offer will continue till July 12. Last month, the authorities allowed liquor shops and bars to provide one free alcoholic drink to adults in Washington state who receive their jabs within a six-week "window."

According to latest official figures, 54 percent of adults in Washington state has so far received at one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, the AFP report said the inoculation rates have slowed down across the United States in recent weeks. Hence, a number of initiatives has been launched to encourage people to take COVID-19 vaccines. United States May Miss July 4 Deadline to Inoculate 70% of Its Adult Population Due to Slow COVID-19 Vaccination Rate.

In states like California and Ohio, the authorities are operating vaccine "lotteries" under which randomly-selected vaccinated persons can win cash prizes or college scholarships. Free sports tickets, airline flights and beers are also offered to increase vaccination rates. US President Joe Biden has set a target of vaccinating 70 percent of American adults by July 4 at least with one shot of COVID-19 vaccines.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 09, 2021 11:21 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).