London - A pilot study at London's Royal Freak Hospital found that a joint dispensing machine in Accident & Emergency has greatly cut down the number of violent incidents.
An adapted cigarette machine was installed last week, filled with spliffs confiscated from nursing staff lockers and operated by keying in a secure code available from triage staff.
A designated smoking area near A&E's poisons cupboard then proved very popular with casualty patients who normally have to wait up to four hours to be seen to.
Royal Freak A&E regular Paddy O'Rizzler from nearby Kentish Town gave the scheme a thumbs up today although moaned a bit about 'someone forgetting to remove the seeds' which exploded all over his tracksuit bottoms.
"I come here for the free skunk," O'Rizzler explained, "but what with the austerity thing they can only afford Thai weed here - which is kinda ok in an emergency...but not entirely to my taste."
He was also critical of nursing station staff for changing the access codes limiting the number of spliffs that can be extracted from the dispenser.
Meanwhile other London A&E services are promising to install free wi-fi in their own emergency rooms in a bid to calm down and distract aggressive patients who regularly gum up the works in hospital peak times.
"Wi-fi? Who wants bloody wi-fi in A&E," O'Rizzler concluded, "apart from sending an emergency email to the nearest dealer I can't see the bloody point, can you?"