Proponents of marijuana are taking on the recent outbreak of vaping diseases to update calls for clear federal rules on cannabis.
Federal health officials point to the black market of THC products as a likely culprit of a mysterious vaping disease that has killed more than 2,000 people across the country and caused at least 39 deaths. that death.
Advocates objected to the federal regulation of marijuana, with the amendment of
"The black market can only be met by a good legal market that controls and can promise safety and security for consumers , "said Terry Holt, spokesman for the National Cannabis Circle.
According to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), products containing THC, especially from "informal sources" such as friends, family or in-person or online entrepreneurs, is associated with most cases and plays a major role in the outbreak.
On Friday, CDC officials honored an e-cigarette cutting agent called vitamin E acetate. According to experts, vitamin E has been used in irregular, illegal vaping products to dissolve THC oil to maximize profits.
The CDC says vitamin E acetate is a "very powerful culprit" for the potential cause of vaping-related injuries. but officials emphasized that there could be other reasons.
Anne Schuchat, CDC's deputy director general, said that while most diseases were associated with illicit THC wines, the agency could not rule out any "invasion" of tainted products into state-licensed marijuana dispensary.
Marijuana is illegal at the federal level, so companies are left to navigate a patchwork of state laws for their own markets. There are 11 states that legalize marijuana for recreational use, and 33 that legalize medical marijuana.
"States that have dispensaries set their own regulatory steps" in terms of review and documentation, Schuchat said, making it difficult for the federal government to monitor them.
At least one fatality has been reported to be linked to oil. legally purchased at a dispensary in Oregon, and while Schuchat said there is anecdotal evidence about patients purchasing vaping products exclusively from legal dispensaries, there are still many unknown reasons.
"Data to date is a greater risk associated with THC-containing products from informal sources than licensed dispensaries," Schuchat said, adding, "We do not think we know enough to fully remove dispensaries from the question. "
Colton Grace, spokesman for the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said Oregon's death was not just a black and white issue.
"By pushing the line that legal products are safe we put more people at risk," Grace said. All vaping products should be banned until researchers know the underlying cause of the diseases, he added.
"The answer is not regulate and test. Some states already exist, and those products harm and kill people," Grace said. "Use permission [the Food and Drug Administration’s] to remove these products on shelves."
Holt said the government needs to act, whether it involves better administration of state laws or access to regulate cannabis at the federal level.
"This is a growing conclusion that regardless of the inequities, unsafe practices in the illicit market, the sunshine outside will do wonders to clean up the industry," Holt said.
Some states have legalized marijuana in an attempt to keep the public safe from vaping disease.
Massachusetts recently began requiring that manufacturers of vaporizer cartridges, marijuana extracts and concentrates publish a list of all substances and chemicals.
The Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has also instituted a statewide ban on all vaping products – including marijuana. A state judge subsequently ruled that the portion of marijuana prohibition could not be enforced, but relief could be short lived due to ongoing legal challenges and future regulations from state marijuana regulators.
In Colorado, officials are close to a ban on certain additives, including vitamin E acetate. The state is also aware of labeling changes to provide consumers with more specific information.
At the federal level, marijuana is a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which means it is classified into the same categories as heroin and LSD. Proponents argue that restrictions make it difficult to study the safety of cannabis in the clinic, and even more difficult to fix.
The National Cannabis Industry Association has been advocating for months that vaping diseases is a prime example of why marijuana should be regulated and regulated better.
"The current patchwork of state regulations emphasizes the need for uniformity. And the similarities are with descheduling and federal regulations," the group wrote in an October letter to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Nancy PelosiTrump calls for Pelosi, Schiff, Biden and others to be witnesses to impeachment inquiry Pelosi rescues Trump by shaping impeachment to fail in Senate? The GOP senator defends calling Pelosi '& # 39; m dumb & # 39 ;: & # 39; What I said was accurate & # 39; MORE (D-Calif.) And Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Kevin Owen McCarthyHouse Republicans are adding Jordan to Intel panel for impeachment probe Bipartisan leadership will reduce leaks faster than Paris according to Ukraine whistleblower under fire – Where did the first respond? MORE (R-Calif.).
"If Americans are proven to be offended by the unregulated, unlawful market of cannabis vape products, this is another reason for genuine, comprehensive federal cannabis reform that will allow controlled, tested cannabis industry to replace unknown actors in the market, ”it added.