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USA Today: Black market, not legal cannabis, to blame for health crisis

Zej Moczydlowski
Nov 15, 2019 10:45:00 AM
In an excellent op-ed piece for USA Today, Neal Levine - the CEO of the Cannabis Trade Federation - presented an argument on how pundits should cease blaming the legal cannabis market for the vaping health crisis and, instead, focus on illegal and illicit THC. He argues that the blanket vaping bans being considered in many states will be counterproductive and will push people to more dangerous alternatives. 

Levine explains that, even though illicit-market cannabis products are believed to be the cause of the spate of illnesses across the country, "many news reports continue to conflate these illegal products with the highly regulated and compliant products produced by state-licensed operators."

Despite how all legal cannabis manufacturers are subject to strict government oversight, the media is effectively grouping safe, regulated cannabis in with its dangerous and illegal forms. Levine notes that this tendency sows confusion and can "strengthen the illicit market and drive more people to dangerous products."

The piece concludes that efforts to protect consumers need to focus on driving the illicit market out of business. The author says that the best way to accomplish that goal will be to promote the federal legalization of cannabis. He believes that legalization will not only suppress the black market but also ensure that legal cannabis remains highly regulated and safe.

Link to the USA Today piece: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/11/06/vaping-illness-death-focus-on-illicit-thc-not-legal-marijuana-column/2490361001/

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