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Vaping Illnesses Increasing Support of Marijuana Legalization

As black market vaping products, including THC products, have been increasingly linked to vaping illnesses, support of marijuana legalization has only grown. As marijuana is still illegal on a federal level, agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are unable to regulate products, even in legal states. Meanwhile, legal states are also struggling to keep up with regulation and safety for marijuana products.

This is becoming even more of a problem as marijuana related products, including pre-filled vaping cartridges, are far outstripping studies about general vaping risks, and specifically THC vaping products.

“What’s changed is that people used to vape dried herb and now you have more vaping of preprocessed manufactured oils, which involve different ingredients,” said David Hammond, a public health researcher at the University of Waterloo in Ontario who studies the e-cigarette and THC vape markets in Canada and the US.

Solvents and other additives in THC oils have not been studied extensively, either in legal products or black market products, leading to potential hazards for consumers.

Federal officials at agencies like the FDA should pursue what they already know works in consumer protection for other products: premarket regulation, inspection, and spot-checking to make sure people follow the rules.

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