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FDA May Ban Marijuana E-Cigarettes Which Provide "Vapor Rush" on Planes and in Workplace
The Food and Drug Administration [FDA] is considering whether to ban the sale of e-cigarettes advertised to administer marijuana to users "at the office, or even on the plane" and with ads suggesting use to get high in public without being detected.
"Yes, now smokers can get an erection, and lose some of their inhibitions, all from a simple product which they advise can be used in the workplace, shopping malls, and even on airplanes, all without any testing or inspection, much less approval, from the only agency authorized to approve any device for the administration of any drug -- even relatively benign ones like aspirin, over-the-counter sleeping pills, etc." -- says Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the organization which promoted the FDA to crack down on nicotine e-cigarettes, and to warn the public about dangers of cancer from using them.
Ads for the new product seemingly invite users not only to violate laws against smoking generally in public places, but also laws against the use of marijuana itself, suggesting that you can now smoke weed in public without attracting attention: "the latest buzz in the pot world: Vapor Rush . . . Vapor Rush is a new way to smoke bud that allows you to smoke anywhere without a lighter, smell, shake, smoke and unwanted attention." Users are invited to get high from "three different varieties [of marijuana]: haze, bliss and rush . . .taken from potent sativa and indica strains of cannabis." http://www.vaporrush.com/
Even websites which are generally supportive of e-cigarettes administering nicotine admit "the unveiling of [this] product [is] sure to take the debate over e-cigarettes to a new level. . . .With its emphasis on delivering doses of psychoactive THC, Vapor Rush is clearly designed to get users high, even though the manufacturer instructs customers to 'visit your local dispensary' to get e-cigarette cartridges."
Another warns: "I can’t joke about this part. Now, on top of these dangers, there may be additional ones as users are able to 'smoke' marijuana in their workplaces, and in other public places including airplanes surreptitiously (without any smell or smoke as the sellers brag), and where bystanders — including young children, the elderly, those with a variety of medical problems, and those who do not wish to get even a little bit high — can be exposed.
This is a real problem. And this is how the FDA might win its argument that e-cigs are drug delivery devices." http://www.e-
The FDA has ruled the e-cigarettes designed to administer nicotine are drug-delivery devices, and are "illegal" because they haven't been approved by the agency for distribution. Although it is now clear that the FDA has jurisdiction over these devices, there is a question whether the new federal statute giving the FDA jurisdiction over ordinary tobacco cigarettes limits the FDA's power to regulate nicotine e-cigarettes.
"But e-cigarettes which administer marijuana, Cialis, Viagra, etc. are obviously not affected by a new federal statute dealing with tobacco cigarettes and nicotine administration products, so the FDA's ability to immediately ban this new product, and to initiate appropriate enforcement proceedings, is obvious unfettered,"
"If manufacturers -- or even users, since some fill the e-cigarette cartridges themselves -- are already adding not only nicotine but also Cialis and marijuana, will the FDA stand up or wait until they literally begin marketing them to administer heroin, crack, and even more potent drugs," asks public interest law professor John Banzhaf, Executive Director of ASH.
ASH notes that if these new marijuana e-cigarettes are used to help users get high in the workplace and on airplanes as advertised, those around them will likewise be subjected to some of the marijuana which they claim is very "potent." This potentially includes infants and toddlers on airplanes, fellow workers in the workplace, the elderly, and those with a variety of medical conditions and special sensitivities which make them even more susceptible, warns ASH.
"Manufacturers should not be able to foist off on the public, and use both customers and those around them as human guinea pigs, for products containing dangerous and even intoxicating drugs which haven't been tested -- much less approved -- by any agency," argues ASH.
PROFESSOR JOHN F. BANZHAF III
Professor of Public Interest Law at GWU,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
FELLOW, World Technology Network, and
Executive Director and Chief Counsel
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
America’s First Antismoking Organization
2013 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006, USA
(202) 659-4310 // (703) 527-8418
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Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), America's first anti-smoking and nonsmokers' rights organization, serves as the legal action arm of the anti-smoking community. It is supported by tax-deductible contributions.