All eyes on Governor Kate Brown
The marijuana industry proves that “tax and regulate marijuana” cannot work. One year ago, October 3, 2018, the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), announced new regulations that would ban marijuana edibles. The LCB responded to 382 cases of toxic overdose of marijuana products in 2017, 82 of them involving children ages five and under.
A week after the announcement, the LCB rescinded the regulations in response to fierce objections from the industry.
Now Oregon Governor Kate Brown has a good opportunity to ban marijuana vaping products in Oregon. The lung illnesses and two of the deaths in Oregon involved products bought at state-regulated dispensaries. However, she is talking to many parties including the marijuana industry.
Will the governor ban marijuana vapes? This will be a good test as to how much “the Industry” controls a politician. The Oregon Health Authority suggests a six-month ban on all vaped products.
Once again the cannabis industry proves that it is hostile to all attempts at sensible regulation. In 2016, the cannabis industry spent $800,000 to buy out a ballot designed to cap the potency of marijuana sold in Colorado dispensaries to 16% THC.
How Other Governors responded
Yesterday, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said that 78% of the vaping illnesses reported involved THC. The governors of New York, Michigan and California issued orders banning flavored vapes. A judge struck down the New York ban.
Only Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has taken the strong response of banning all vaping products for four months, including marijuana vapes.
Many reports erroneously left out the fact that THC, not just nicotine, was involved in the lung illnesses. Many reports falsely claimed it’s only black market THC involved in the the illnesses.
Politicians love to criticize Big Tobacco, while defending the marijuana industry which lines their pocketbooks with campaign contributions.
Statistics from the CDC, Mayo Clinic report
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports severe lung illnesses involving 1,080 people in 48 states, of whom 18 died. Of the reported cases, 16% are younger than 18; 21% are 18-20 years; 80% are younger than 35, and 70% are male.
Most patients report vaping THC products, and 37% used THC products exclusively; 58% used nicotine and 17% used nicotine exclusively. Vaping enables easy cross-over between nicotine and marijuana. 55% are 24 years and younger.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic examined samples of lung tissue from 17 patients in Arizona, Minnesota and Florida, two who died. They looked as if they had been exposed to toxic chemicals, similar to a chemical burn.
Solution to the Vaping Problems
Nicotine vapes help some cigarette smokers quit, making a total ban controversial to those trying to quit cigarettes. Perhaps making the nicotine vapes available by doctor’s prescription only would make it less likely for youth to fall into the vaping trap. Youth vaping was not an issue ten years ago, before the marijuana industry gained control of our nation.
True to form, the marijuana industry wrote a letter to Senators McConnell and Schumer, advocating that descheduling marijuana would be the solution to our vaping crisis. The letter falsely suggested that the vaping products responsible for this crisis come only from the black market.
The cannabis industry repeatedly shows itself impervious to regulation, and the vaping illnesses prove this point.
Read our previous article on vaping.