Kansas Legislators Should Reverse Action on Cannabis Vaping Ban
October 8, 2021
Just as the marijuana legalization conversation was starting to heat up in Kansas, a tragic wave of vaping related injuries and deaths were making headlines. Frantic lawmakers seized on the opportunity to include banning vaping THC in any proposed legislation. They went a step further and banned smokable forms of cannabis as well. Furthermore, they included a provision that would make it impossible for any state agency or governing body to allow smoking/vaping in the future. This caused a lot of debate in committee meetings and on the floor, but it was ultimately passed by the House of Representatives. What the prohibitionist lawmakers refused to listen to was the fact that most of these hospitalizations and deaths were caused by black-market cartridges, not from legal markets where products are safe and heavily regulated.
According to a recently published study, vaping related illnesses were less common in states with legal cannabis markets. According to the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, recreational pot states had a 42% lower rate of vape related lung injuries. Cases were 60% lower for medical marijuana states where citizens have a right to grow their own medicine.
An overwhelming majority of Kansans who support marijuana legalization also want to be able to smoke/vape their medicine. Some lobbyists claim that removing the vape ban would cause some elected officials to drop their support of the bill. The mention of such an amendment is sure to spark a lot of continued debate.
Kansas lawmakers should do the right thing and reverse course on their ban on vaping cannabis. The claim that vaping cannabis will result in untold amounts of Kansans experiencing lung injuries is not based in science and will only hinder the state’s ability to compete with neighboring cannabis markets.