California voters can expect to receive free weed from some pot clubs in the Bay Area city of San Jose for casting ballots in state primary elections next Tuesday that include local races and battles for governor and secretary of state. The city’s cannabis collectives, which have also offered up a voter guide to the races, are offering free marijuana and discounts when members show a ballot stub or an “I Voted” sticker on June 3. “Primary elections tend to have much lower turnout because people don’t even know there’s a vote that day,” said Dave Hodges, a cannabis club owner and member of the Silicon Valley Cannabis Coalition. “We want to help people know when to vote and who to vote for.”
A spokesman for San Jose, David Vossbrink, said that the offer appeared to be illegal under federal law, which he said bars inducing voters to register or vote in elections that include a federal contest. Tuesday’s election includes U.S. Congressional primaries. The group’s voter guide, which focuses mostly on local races and backs Democratic candidates, promotes politicians who director John Lee describes as “friendly to the cannabis movement or at least better than the alternatives.”
The city of San Jose estimates there are about 80 cannabis clubs operating in the city, and the organizers of the “Weed for Votes” effort said about a dozen of the 40 shops in the collective had already agreed to participate.