LOS ANGELES - The city that popularized the fast food drive-thru has a new innovation: 24-hour medical marijuana vending machines.
...."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 DEA Special Agent Jose Martinez. "Once we find out where it's at, we'll look into it and see if they're violating laws."
....Mehdizadeh says any user approved for medical marijuana and registered in a computer database at his dispensaries can pre-purchase the drug and then use the machine to pick up.
The process provides convenience and privacy for users who may otherwise feel uncomfortable about buying marijuana, Mehdizadeh said.
....A spokesman for a marijuana advocacy group said the machine also benefits dispensary owners.
"It limits the number of workers in the store in the event of a raid, and it'll make it harder for theft," said Nathan Sands, of The Compassionate Coalition.
Marijuana use is illegal under federal law, which does not recognize the medical marijuana laws in California and 11 other states.