CDPH Issues Public Health Advisory Urging Everyone To Refrain From Vaping

Health Advisory Warns About Imminent Public Health Risks

CALIFORNIA: The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a health advisory today urging everyone to refrain from vaping, no matter the substance or source, until current investigations are complete. The health advisory follows an executive order signed by Governor Gavin Newsom last week to confront the growing youth epidemic and health risks linked to vaping.

As of September 24, 2019, CDPH has received reports that 90 people in California who have a history of vaping were hospitalized for severe breathing problems and lung damage, and two people have died. Across the U.S., there are more than 500 reports of lung damage associated with vaping across 38 states and 1 U.S. territory, and more reports are coming in nearly every day.

“We are seeing something that we have not seen before,” said Dr. Charity Dean, Acting State Public Health Officer. “There are numerous unknown factors at this time, and due to the uncertainty of the exact cause, it is our recommendation that consumers refrain from vaping until the investigation has concluded.”

CDPH, along with other states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), local health departments, and healthcare providers are working hard to investigate what is in the vape materials that is making people sick.

Although CDPH regulates manufacturers of cannabis vaping products to ensure they are as safe as possible for those who choose to vape, CDPH warns that all individuals put themselves at risk any time they inhale a foreign substance into their lungs. The risk of vaping for any individual may include serious illness and death. “Vaping is not just a concern for youth; the vaping cases under investigation affect youth and adults alike,” said Dr. Dean.

If you experience difficulty breathing after vaping, contact your doctor immediately. You may also experience other symptoms including: cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. If this happens to you, do not discard any used vaping cartridges you might have, as CDPH is interested in testing the remaining substance in used cartridges. Those cartridges are being collected by local health departments and sent to CDPH labs for analysis.

In California, licensed cannabis retailers are required to sell products obtained from a licensed cannabis manufacturer that have been tested by a licensed laboratory. Cannabis products sold by licensed sources are tested for a variety of chemicals, pesticides, microbial impurities, and heavy metals. Illegal cannabis dispensaries sell unregulated and untested cannabis products and absolutely should not be used.

CDC continues to warn that any tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. Furthermore, use of cannabis and tobacco products remains especially unsafe for youth, and for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

The Governor’s executive order directed CDPH to launch a $20 million statewide digital and social media public awareness campaign to educate youth, young adults and parents about the health risks associated with vaping nicotine and cannabis products. CDPH is also tasked with developing recommendations to reduce smoking among young adults and teens by establishing warning signs with health risks where vaping products are sold and on product advertisements.

California’s Sweeping New Marijuana Industry Laws Are A Win For The Environment

CALIFORNIA: A comprehensive suite of marijuana regulations were passed by California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday, creating much-needed government oversight over the state’s billion-dollar industry. The bill specifically addresses the environmental impact of growing marijuana, including water use during the drought.

Since the state’s Compassionate Care Act was passed almost 20 years ago, marijuana cultivation has been legal in California for the farmers who sell to the state’s dispensaries. But it hasn’t been easy for growers, who are governed by an inconsistent set of rules, and haphazard, if any, enforcement.

Assembly Bill 243, Assembly Bill 266, and State Bill 643 will set up state and local licenses for marijuana businesses and create a brand-new, dedicated Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation. As part of it, farmers would be required to track and report their water use and document the sources of that water. Earlier this summer, a study showed that some farmers in Northern California were diverting wild streams.

California Marijuana Legalization 2015: New Medical Marijuana Law Rankles Top Cannabis Industry Investor

CALIFORNIA: California lawmakers quietly passed Friday the state’s most significant medical-marijuana legislation in almost two decades, but some leaders in the space worry that the law’s good intentions could get lost in the weeds. Paving the way for what supporters say is a much-needed regulatory framework for the state’s multibillion-dollar medical-cannabis industry, the California Senate and Assembly voted to approve the historic Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, which will require licenses for cannabis dispensaries and create a new state agency to oversee the industry.

Although California residents voted to approve medical marijuana back in 1996, a regulatory plan has until now eluded policymakers, who could not seem to agree on specifics. Legislators finally reached a compromise on three bills, which have been sent for final approval to Gov. Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign them into law. The legislation was approved as part of a comprehensive package pushed through on the final day of the 2015 session.

Despite the historic achievement, some leaders in the field expressed concerns about the implications of regulating an industry that has been unregulated for so long. Steve DeAngelo, co-founder of the ArcView Group, mammoth marijuana-investment firm, and the Harborside Health Center, a nonprofit dispensary in the state, said in a statement Saturday that the time pressures made it impossible for state legislators to adequately consider the impact the new law will have on patients who depend on medical cannabis.

Goldstein: Legalized Marijuana Benefits, Not Hurts, Society

CALIFORNIA:  Marijuana legalization will be on the ballot in California for 2016, an effort that 55 percent of Californians now support. As a retired police officer, I spent a career fighting the war on marijuana and other drugs, which largely felt like the most expensive whack-a-mole game ever created.

No matter how many drug users or dealers we arrested, there were ten more to take their place. It’s the failure of drug prohibition that continues to make marijuana and other drugs easily available to our children. No different than when I was in high school — marijuana is still widely available despite over forty years of attempting to eradicate its use in the United States.

In the states that have taken the illicit marijuana market away from criminal organizations, even law enforcement has noted that there have been minimal issues with legalization. According to the Colorado State Police, “…officers’ jobs are also not more dangerous or more challenging since marijuana’s statewide legalization.”

Stoners Rejoice: Full-On Weed Legalization Is Heading For California Ballots

CALIFORNIA: There’s been mad talk about finally legalizing recreational marijuana in the great state of California.

Well, this is the one you’ve all been waiting for: The big daddy of legalization proponents, ReformCA, part of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR), says it will have its ballot initiative ready to file with the state attorney general within weeks.

The group made the announcement during a press conference yesterday afternoon.

Attorney General Kamala Harris will have to approve language for signature gathering, but ReformCA already has hired a firm, Progressive Campaigns Inc., to get voters’ endorsements.

It then will have time to gather and turn in signatures. If there are enough verified endorsements, the initiative will be included on the 2016 presidential election ballot in California.

California’s Most Effective Pot Lobbyist Used To Be A Cop

CALIFORNIA:  Nate Bradley used to be a cop. Now he’s the marijuana legalization activist that California state legislators and weed entrepreneurs alike have come to rely on.

The son of a pastor and conservative Christian radio show host, Bradley has a well-used bong and a rig for dabbing hash oil on his desk in his office. His power lies in his ability to translate the struggles of the dispensary owner who sometimes wears fairy wings to the chair of the Republican caucus. He can bridge the gap between the activists and entrepreneurs who support marijuana legalization and the type of people who think pot smokers should be locked up.

Since starting the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) at the end of 2012, the 35-year-old Bradley has spent his days bounding through the halls of the Capitol building and his nights hopping from reception to fundraiser, hoping to befriend influential legislators, lobbyists, and political staffers and communicate the details of what reasonable marijuana regulations might look like. “Make me your Google on this issue,” he tells them.

California’s Assembly Gears To Legalize Medical Marijuana

CALIFORNIA:  The future of medical marijuana program in California awaits its fate amidst the two decade- long ongoing efforts to enact statewide controls on medical marijuana cultivation and sales. The future prospects seem brighter as the political will is backing a 2016 legislation to legalize Medical marijuana.

The regulation of this recreational weed is an indispensible need to eliminate dangers of its misuse. The two-decade long contesting views surely reflect the gravity of undertaking such legislation.

Under the recent developments, medical pot bill has been accepted by the dispensaries. Rob Bonta, an assemblyman, asserted in the legislature, “We think that a regulatory regime is necessary today. It was necessary yesterday, and many years before. And it’s time that we do it”.

Legislature Considering Plans To Regulate Medicinal Pot Shops, Growers

CALIFORNIA:  California lawmakers are wading into the politically sticky issue of regulating medical marijuana, laying groundwork for state control of the sale and cultivation of cannabis with the expectation that voters will legalize recreational use next year.

The Legislature is considering multiple — and conflicting — plans to impose the first major statewide restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries and growers; the billion-dollar-a-year industry is now regulated largely by local governments.

The debate has pitted cities and law enforcement agencies against marijuana growers and sellers.

California Marijuana Legalization Supporters Worry Video From Smokers Promising Hash Bars Will Hurt Campaign

CALIFORNIA:  A new online video could shape the early debate over legalizing pot in California, but some supporters fear it could backfire.

“This is an initiative to bring back hash bars all over California, all over the beaches and then beyond,” a man in the video said. “This is an initiative to help fund education and social services and to get all of the prisoners out of jail. Get them the (bleep) out of jail, that’s first on the list right there.”

It may not be the image that marijuana backers want for a 2016 ballot initiative, but it’s the first out of the gate.

“This video had its own target market, which is cannabis consumers. If we offended anyone, sorry. There is nothing in it that I can say is inaccurate,” said Michael Jolson of the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative.

Marijuana Legalization — A Step Toward Social Justice

CALIFORNIA:  Marijuana legalization advocates announced a plan last month to put an initiative to tax, control and regulate the adult consumption of marijuana on the 2016 ballot in California. As a retired police officer who spent more than 20 years on the force and who has closely watched legalization in Colorado and Washington, I’m here to tell you it’s one of the best things California can do to improve public safety.

In the two states that have already taken the marijuana market from the hands of cartels and street gangs and placed it in the hands of sellers licensed and regulated by the government, the results have been overwhelmingly positive.

Colorado has seen a reduction in traffic fatalities since legalization in 2012. Denver has seen a reduction in the number of violent crimes, as police have been able to redirect their resources from low-level, nonviolent drug crimes to more serious matters.

At the same time, criminal syndicates have seen a major source of their funding dry up. Mexican cartels, known for their gruesome violence such as mass beheadings and melting enemies in vats of acid, have been particularly hard hit as consumers move to legal markets and many farmers have given up illegal production of marijuana altogether.