The Problem With E-Cigs For Pot

Klaus Kneale
by Klaus Kneale
11 Comments
August 20, 2013

ecigaretteThere is an issue with the impending and almost certain development of electronic cigarettes for marijuana use — and it’s largely regulatory.  As more states loosen restrictions on use of marijuana for medical and recreational reasons, the mass market of THC electronics seems more and more likely.

Let’s ignore for a moment that we’re all stick-in-the-muds that can’t handle the idea of people using marijuana even if it’s for medical reasons.  Let’s assume that the open recreational use of marijuana is not so unlike the use of alcohol.

The problem arises in that even the recreational use of marijuana requires pretty significant regulation and restrictions on how the product and its related devices are manufactured and sold.  As we mentioned before, regulators like to keep things confined to as few regulatory categories as possible.  They also like to regulate on the side of caution (more rather than less).  This is how they make sure they stay in business.  After all, when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

So if marijuana use through electronic cigarettes becomes a big thing, regulators might drop their tobacco products deeming efforts (that is, trying to qualify e-cigs as tobacco products) and go back to arguing that they are drug delivery devices.  The single strongest argument against e-cigs as drug delivery devices at the moment is that nicotine is not a controlled substance.  But once wide use of the devices with a controlled, legal substance happens, e-cigs could find themselves revisiting those arguments.

Under FDA jurisdiction (which delivery devices fall), e-cigs may simply find themselves totally banned “until more is known.”  That is regularly used as an excuse to keep products off the market without much real reason.  Even if not totally banned, the FDA does like to institute regulations so hefty that they effectively work as a ban.

Ultimately though, (by our understanding) electronic cigarettes used for consumption of THC will have different construction and specifications.  This means the two may be alike, but won’t be the same.  This is where distinction based on advertising should come in.  E-cigs advertised for use with pot should fall under one category while nicotine e-cigs should fall under another.

But again, even if the two should be regulated in similar ways but kept distinct, that isn’t the normal operation for many regulators.

Comments

11 Responses to “The Problem With E-Cigs For Pot”

      kelli perkins on August 20th, 2013 9:15 am

      First of all lets think logically here. Marijuana is a sticky substance. Its ok to smoke eat and drink. What is the worse thing in vaping. Well in my opinion its a heavy liquid. Especially dark ones. They clog up and gee no good to vape…so what is the problem anyway.

        Terri - The Vapor Lady on August 20th, 2013 9:53 am

        You can make a marijuana delivery device from and apple, a coke can and out of tinfoil, so the idea that you could conceivably use an electronic cigarette to deliver drugs is not a surprise.

        It may come up, but it would be easily argued that ANY device can be converted to use drugs, not just e cigarettes, rendering the whole point moot.

          Dee on August 20th, 2013 4:50 pm

          A plastic cup can be used to hold water, a soda or beer/liquor. Should we outlaw plastic cups?

            bloodyfart on August 20th, 2013 5:44 pm

            your both missing the point….that being if the powers at hand use the drug delivery device arguement we are closer to regulation….not that cups should be banned ’cause you can drink booze out of them and yes tinfoil, a coke can and a pen body does equal a bong …

              Jennifer A. aka hallucinoJEN on August 20th, 2013 11:13 pm

              I was happy to see marijuana legalized for recreational use in two states. That is a BIG step forward for this country, IMO. But, there are still 48 states that still outlaw recreational marijuana use, so it would be wise for us nic vapers in these 48 states to keep from talking about using illicit substances in our vaporizers.

              With that said, in Colorado and Washington, the ads do have to be distinct in the kind of vaporizer being advertised, whether it is for THC or nic consumption. I would hate to see the FDA come back and tell us, “Oh, it’s now used to deliver drugs, so you need to take them off the market until you show us some clinical studies.” The larger ecig companies plus BT will have to take the FDA to court again, and that would be a huge headache for all of us.

              I hope a clear distinction is made. I would hate to be harassed by police officers on what I am vaping. I’m already tired of people asking me if they could “smoke drugs in that thing.”

                Todd on August 21st, 2013 11:17 am

                ” The single strongest argument against e-cigs as drug delivery devices at the moment is that nicotine is not a controlled substance.”

                No, actually, the single strongest argument is that theyr’e essentially miniature fog machines. The electronic cigarette itself is separate from the nicotine, and you can get juice without it. The electronic cigarette isn’t a drug at all. The drug is only (sometimes) in the liquid.

                Also, let’s not lump marijuana together with alcohol, please… Alcohol is MUCH worse.

                Also, what the hell ever happened to personal responsibility? Are we not adults? Do we really need our nanny government watching everything we do, telling us what we can and cannot do? When are we gonna have enough?

                  Philip on August 22nd, 2013 2:30 am

                  The problem here, Todd, is that the government unfortunately does have the right to be our nanny or watchdog. Not only do they have the right, it is their job. Where this becomes a problem that affects someone who vapes is that they are trying to use misguided information to potentially ban an extremely useful product that does help remove the need of analog cigarettes.
                  Recreational use of marijuana may be legal in 2 states, on a state level, it is still not legal on the federal level.
                  It is the federal government that controls the FDA, who is the branch charged with the task of decision on use of e-cigs.
                  What this means: If the FDA believes that all, most, some or a few people who use e-cigs are using them to ingest THC in any form, they will ban the e-cig devices and use of them. E-cigs will be considered drug paraphernalia and made illegal to posses.
                  Some e-cig users, I’m sure, partake in the use of marijuana. I however do not. I vape traditional e-juice (not containing THC), proving that not all e-cig users are using the devices for marijuana consumption.
                  There is a very large community trying to fight for the continued use of e-cigs. Many of these people use e-cig to refrain from smoking and if these devices were to get banned, would revert back to smoking analogs.
                  I am generally the type of person who believes in the whole to each their own mentality, but on this issue I cannot subscribe.

                  “Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the American Government take care of him; better take a closer look at the American Indian.”
                  -Henry Ford

                    jeaja on August 22nd, 2013 12:02 pm

                    @ Philip … “the government unfortunately does have the right to be our nanny or watchdog. Not only do they have the right, it is their job”

                    Your statement is a complete falsehood Philip. Show me in the constitution where it says its the federal govts job to be our nanny or watchdog.?? You’ve bought into their sheep mentality needed to for them to maintain control. Its time the states reduce the power the feds have unconstitutionally seized.

                      Philip on August 23rd, 2013 2:56 am

                      It is not written in the constitution nor any other declaration. It was voted by the American people to give them this power they now obtain, even if it was unintentional, by means of lobbying and pork barreling or any other back-handed method used by politicians to stick laws and bylaws into bills unnoticed. It, the government, did not come to this control out of its own will, per se.

                      Now please understand that I did not enter into this conversation to speak about politics and government control aside from mentioning that the government now does have the right and duty to decide the fate of the legality issues of e-cigs.

                      My point to this matter simply echoes the writer of this article and further elaborates how implying use of marijuana through e-cigs can destroy any possibility that we will have continued use of e-cigs, unregulated or otherwise. It needs to be understood by everyone that while some portions of government entities have asked scientists and vapors alike about all the pros of the e-cig, some portions of government (some including those that have asked for the information) are looking for reasons to ban them. Use of federally illegal drugs through e-cigs will be a major factor in their decision in the end.

                      I am not a government supporter by any means (see quote in my original reply). Our government does not have our health as the primary interest in this decision, as they should. Their concerns relating to e-cigs are money from taxation (control), money again from BT (a nuisance to play government control), use by and access to minors (control, which I do agree with this one), use of illegal drugs via e-cig (control), maintaining public retardism (tactic used to keep and raise control) and finally our health and or safety.

                      I am an e-cig supporter who is currently relying on e-cig users to use common sense about what is at stake and the mentality of the entity that has the job to make a decision on the use of e-cigs.

                      For the time being, keep our vapor and head shops separate.

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