E-Cigarettes, Vaporizers and The New Legal Landscape
Nobody thinks that smoking cigarettes is a safe thing to do. With the public moves to ban smoking around other people, a smoker really feels like an outcast, which is the point. In steps e-cigarettes, an alternative to smoking traditional cancer sticks. Every state but Utah and North Dakota have vaper friendly laws that pertain to the public use of these new vapor pens.
Take New Orleans for example. By next month smoking will be banned with in the city limits. This has angered a lot of citizens of Louisiana. The casinos are abundant and a lot of people puff away all day in those places. Not to mention all the bars, pubs, and restaurants in the French Quarter. Now with vapes, smokers will have something to ease them in to this new legal territory.
With e-cigs and vape pens, the user normally exhales inert water vapor. No harmful second hand smoke for the other patrons to be exposed to. It doesn’t bother people unless they already have are the type of person that tries to enforce their social expectation onto strangers. The biggest benefits are really to ex-cigarette smokers. They can smoke in peace without bothering people or in turn being bothered.
Vaporizers and Marijuana Legalization
So far Colorado, Alaska, District of Columbia, Oregon, and Washington have all passed personal possession and consumption of cannabis by persons of age. Generally this means a legally controlled market for marijuana in which law abiding citizens have a safe, reliable, and legal source in which to buy marijuana. There is no question about whether it is working either. Across the board marijuana is extremely beneficial to the local communities and states these laws have been passed in.
Colorado has made millions of dollars in additional tax revenues that directly benefit the citizens. In 2014, Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace said, “In January (2014) we took a million dollars out of the black market, while generating $55,000 in tax revenue for our local community. We recognize that the eyes of the world are watching us and we are proud to have erected a robust regulatory environment in Pueblo County.” Statewide, tax revenues were $2.9 million just in taxes on sales, if you include fees the figure jumps to 3.5 million. In June of 2014, taxes on sales exceeding $4.5 million. It is estimated that by June 2015 total tax revenues will be over $70 million. Not only are the local community directly benefiting but drug dealers are not able to directly benefit without paying taxes on profits as part of a legal framework.
Another benefit of this process being legal is that the product being delivered to patients is of a higher quality. A person with a medical condition can now select from a wide selection of medicine without having to worry about quality due to market forces by way of legal competition between providers. This limits the exposure that people have to other wares often offered by drug dealers. Marijuana is argued by some to be a so called ‘gateway drug’ only because its users are exposed to more hard drugs by interacting with a black market supplier. If you believe in gateway drugs, both cigarettes and alcohol are far more likely to be a ‘gateway’ that marijuana.
On to the vape pen movement. There is a lot of concern with some that these vaporizer pens will hurt our cause. The strength of some of the concentrates used in these vape pens can be up to three time stronger than normal cannabis. While this is true, cannabis is not known to have caused any overdoses or deaths from direct usage unlike alcohol and other drugs that have no known medical purpose. Certainly you can die while on cannabis. The classic example is a car accident but it is already illegal to drive while impaired in any way.
Since we are talking about safe usage of cannabis, using vaporizer pens would actually be the most health choice. The medical value of the plant is in the THC, which is atomized by the device into vapor form. Only this is inhaled by the patient and not any harmful smoke. The incinerated plant material along with toxic chemicals gases is what actually causes disease (cancer) by way of smoking cigarettes or marijuana. With vaporizing you avoid that situation completely by only inhaling the vaporized thc crystals.
This is where having a properly regulated product is necessary. Street drug dealer grade is different that the grade you would get at a licensed dispensary. The street dealer may have something produced using strong chemicals that were not flushed properly from the plant or may have been grown in soil contaminated by heavy metals such as chromium. The legal dispensary would have their product tested in a lab or bought from a known safe supplier. Another benefit to the community is by not having some malady needlessly forced onto the populus.