For too long, U.S. citizens haven't been able to buy marijuana out of vending machines, says Stephen Shearin.
"This is a great country, and for a number of years a product that should never have been prohibited has been," Shearin told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
Shearin is the COO of American Green and Tranzbyte, the companies behind a new vending machine in Colorado from which residents in that state can buy pot. The machine — for now there is only one — debuted at a medical marijuana dispensary in the town of Eagle Veil last weekend.
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Colorado last year legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and the new machine is designed to require that buyers verify they are of age, Shearin said.
And while there may be only one ZaZZZ vending machine now, Shearin said he envisions the day when Colorado residents will be able to buy marijuana from vending machines at coffee shops and gas stations throughout the state.
Shearin dismissed the idea that marijuana is a habit-forming drug. He said it is no worse for the body than nicotine or alcohol, and that its legalization was long overdue.
"I'm not advocating that we put something that may be addictive out on the market. I'm advocating that the people have decided in certain states that it was safe enough to do if it was handled correctly, and we support that action," he said.
"Yeah, it's an idea whose time has come. I didn't think we'd see it in my lifetime. I'm glad that I have, and we're thrilled to be part of that."
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