The Vaping Crisis
Why Legalizing Cannabis Makes More Sense Than Ever Before
Whenever there is hysteria, there is also logic. While logic doesn’t always win out, it can help guide the drowning hysterical point of view to safer, dryer land. Such is the case with the vape oil crisis and cannabis legalization. Both issues go hand-in-hand. No, really. They do!
We’ll break down why lawmakers should consider full legalization in order to better control the safety of the cannabis industry, and lead people away from potentially dangerous unregulated black market cannabis.
The Vape Crisis In A Nutshell
If you haven’t heard the news, there’s a vaping crisis sweeping up boatloads of panic among the media about vaping, e-cigarettes and cannabis vape oils. This panic has translated to hysteria among cannabis users and non-cannabis users alike. Some retailers are banning the products. Even the U.S. president, embroiled in his own seemingly endless sea of crises, found time to chime in with his thoughts, which led to the Juul CEO stepping down.
While most oils are safe to use, it is turning out that some black market vape pens, and even some e-cigarette pens, are causing issues. Patients, e-cigarette users and cannabis enthusiasts are encouraged to track their sources and be sure you are confident in what you are putting inside your body.
Specifically relating to cannabis vape oil, the cannabis community has seen nearly ten deaths. While that number is still pretty small, it is startling to see considering marijuana’s historic track record for not killing its users.
This has put the topic of vaping straight into the public spotlight, where a lot of hot air has been blown about the issue. While vaping can be unsafe if you are using unregulated products, it can also be one of the healthiest methods to consuming cannabis. If nothing else, it is another tool in the plant’s arsenal of consumption methods, be it smoking, edibles, creams, patches, waxes or oils.
Cannabis Legalization Efforts Thus Far
There have been rumors for more than two decades that legalization of cannabis is “just around the corner.” But legalization has yet to happen, at least not national legalization. More than a dozen states and D.C. have already legalized recreational cannabis. And more than 30 states have added medical marijuana programs to their law books, including Ohio.
Even our neighbors to the north in Canada have fully legalized cannabis. And our neighbors to the south in Mexico are also weighing the option. Several other progressive nations are also considering full legalization, with a few that have already taken steps to legalize cannabis.
Eager cannabis advocates, patients and enthusiasts have wanted, for literal decades, to see a simple plant finally get its day in the sun. Historically speaking, the timeline cynically makes sense. In the grand scheme of our 200+-year American history, 20-30 years to fix a problem seems about right.
Why Marijuana Legalization Makes Sense Now
With all this fuss about cannabis vape oil, now is the time for lawmakers to consider full cannabis legalization. There is simply too much at stake not to consider the logic and reality of the situation.
For example, nearly half of the adults in the United States have admitted to using cannabis in the past decade. Pew Research suggests that more than half of Americans are in favor of full legalization as well, this includes some of the religious right. With this many people in support of cannabis, and this many people using, legalization isn’t just an option, it’s a must.
Our safety is at stake. Not from the drug itself. Cannabis is akin to a tea. It is relaxing. There is some euphoria. But compare it to over the counter cough medicine, which impairs one’s ability to drive or even function, and you are comparing apples to oranges. These are not the same things. One is a drug. The other is a plant called cannabis.
Rather, the safety comes from knowing our sources. Legalization solves the vape crisis in that it creates a system for catching problems before they turn into full blown panics, and reduces the overall amount of illicit cannabis sales. At current, if a patient is buying cannabis from the black market, they may not know where their cannabis has come from. As a result, they may be unknowingly buying a dangerous product, with no system of tracking if the patient gets sick or dies.
By legalizing cannabis, the regulatory sectors of the federal government can employ better tools to provide oversight and accountability to the cannabis industry. This will lead to considerably fewer Americans buying cannabis off the street. It will also lead to cheaper prices, insurance for medical marijuana patients, more research and science, and more taxes for state and federal governments.
This would also allow unregulated growers and sellers a chance to legitimize their business and enter the free market with more confidence. In turn, their cannabis would be regulated and users would feel safer knowing the products they purchased were lab-tested (much like Ohio’s medical marijuana program).
Is Legalization Actually Safer?
The simple answer is yes, but that’s a very muddy yes. Allow me to explain. Legalization provides a pathway for everyone to enter the cannabis business and take part. It allows users to grow their own bud. It lets cannabis dealers out of prison, or allows them to have their records expunged.
Legalization also allows for better regulation of the cannabis product. Say what you want about corporate bureaucracy infesting the arms of the federal government — when push comes to shove, regulators crack down and the products we use get safer and better for us. There’s a reason you don’t buy meat that isn’t USDA certified. Doing any less could put you in danger.
That doesn’t mean that businesses won’t screw up. It’s only natural. New science can develop that renders a consumption method unsafe. New products can pop up in the market that turn out to be more hazardous than originally thought. A food is grown with mold, a virus or fungus and people get sick, or even die.
These sorts of issues are terrible, but they happen, even with regulation. And they happen a lot. But a system of regulation also allows these issues to be caught and addressed much, much quicker. A system of regulation ensures that any mistakes are corrected, or else there be criminal or financial repercussions. This system is not foolproof, but it protects us from harm more often than not.
Cannabis needs to be legalized so this system of regulation can protect patients and recreational users, and provide a pathway to legitimization for black market growers and sellers who are already selling safe products.
Ohio’s Medical Marijuana
Ohio’s medical marijuana is heavily regulated. In fact, it’s one of the most regulated systems throughout the entire country! While this can lead to a lot frustration from cultivators and dispensaries (and even patients), it also helps patients tremendously, ensuring they are medicating with clean, safe cannabis. Any flaws are quickly reported and products are recalled. Patients are usually even refunded if such a thing occurs, as it did once earlier this summer.
At current, there are no known reports of any issues from medical cannabis purchased in Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries. We will update this website if we hear anything new. In the meantime, you can follow this portal to call or write your local lawmakers and ask them to legalize cannabis to solve the vaping crisis.
The educational materials, editorials and reviews found on this site are provided for informational purposes only. We are not responsible for patients or recreational cannabis users and their actions. Please consult your medical marijuana physician or pharmacist about how to properly medicate with medical cannabis, or to learn how to get your Ohio medical marijuana card.
But this is the question that continues to loom over every patient in Ohio