My name is Tiffany Barnard Davidson. I moved to Washington DC six weeks ago. Prior to that, I was a resident of the state of Connecticut for 19 years. I sit before you today to speak about the impact that vaping high-nicotine content JUUL pods and high-potency THC oil has had on my family. I would like to begin by expressing my condolences to those families who have been much less fortunate than mine as a result of this escalating vaping crisis. True to what I have learned this past year, stories endlessly more tragic than mine often go untold because families are often too traumatized.
A CDC report issued October 28, 2019, tells of staggering numbers of lung illnesses (1604) and deaths (36) caused by vaping. It also reveals that the majority of victims (63%) were vaping THC with cannabis vaporizers . Vaping is widely perceived as a safer alternative to smoking tobacco. However, teens and adults are increasingly using it as a means of delivering the THC high. By November 1, there were 1,888 confirmed and probable cases of the respiratory illness and 39 deaths.
Now that deaths are being reported, we must take a pause while trying to discover the exact cause of the danger.
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.
“Prohibitionists” against marijuana are alive and well in Massachusetts. They’re a growing army. Hundreds of people participated in a Peace March from Lowell Auditorium to Lowell City Hall on September 28 to demonstrate concerns about marijuana in the city.
Many people held signs, proclaiming “We have a Dream,” and “Keep Kids Safe.” One sign proclaimed a “War on Addiction.” Organizers planned the march to express problems associated with the marijuana stores in the City of Lowell.
Many in the immigrant community joined the group. How can anyone live the American dream, if a community promotes drug use?
After the march, several people gave speeches in front of city hall, explaining their opposition to marijuana. They talked about psychosis and suicide, and the deaths of young people.
Lowell, the fourth largest in Massachusetts, lies 30 miles north of Boston.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker took a courageous step last week, banning all vaping products, for four months. The CDC warned that 77% of the lung illnesses from vaping were from marijuana vapes, some of which were mixed with nicotine.