The Crow here for c4ocradio.com
Over the past several months, seven people have died and nearly 400 others have gotten sick after using vape pens containing either nicotine or THC, the chemical in cannabis that makes you high. It’s causing a nationwide moral panic: Michigan’s governor enacted regulations that could result in 17-year-olds being hit with six-month jail sentences for every Juul pod in their possession. President Donald Trump has called for a similar nationwide ban on all flavored e-cigarettes. The demand for cannabis vapes has exploded over the past few years, and the illicit market has kept up with the trend. Consumers like vaping because it is more discreet and convenient than rolling a joint or carrying around a bong. Sellers like vapes too because the profit margins tend to be higher — especially on the illicit market, where sellers can save on costs by heavily diluting the THC oil. This haphazard “do something” approach ignores the fact that several of the people who got sick from vaping used pens filled with THC oil, which is already illegal in most states and under federal law. “Banning things — have we not learned that doesn’t curb use?” asked Jeffrey Raber, a chemist who founded a cannabis lab-testing facility in Los Angeles. Public health officials have not yet specified how many deaths and illnesses are linked to cannabis vape products — but there is only one known case involving a person who purchased a THC vape pen from a legal cannabis dispensary. Several of the other cases appear to involve people who bought illicit vapes, which are not subject to any regulations or testing.