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It’s already banned and the ban clearly doesn’t work well

Friday, Oct 4, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Um

Even as calls to ban vaping have intensified after at least 18 people have died and over 1,000 more have been sickened, Illinois’ new pot czar says the state should take a more measured approach to the outbreak but should not prohibit certain products.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, who was tapped for the role last week by Gov. J. B. Pritzker, warned against an all-out ban of the pot-laden vaping products believed to be at the center of the nationwide public health scare she acknowledges is a “crisis.”

If you scroll down in that Sun-Times piece, you’ll see the ban is already in place

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control issued a report singling out black market THC vaping products tied to illnesses in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Hutchinson, an Olympia Fields Democrat, claimed “illicit entrants into this market are creating havoc.”

The problem is not THC, as the Sun-Times appears to want you to believe. The problem is with harmful additives that criminals put into currently illegal vaping juice. The best way to deal with this problem is to legalize and regulate. And that’s already in the pipeline.

Do better, Sun-Times.


  1. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 9:41 am:

    Marijuana should be legally available and regulated. Now that this is coming it should strongly be urged that consumers choose legal products that disclose their contents. People will no longer need to buy adulterated and deadly black market products.

  2. - Amy Winehouse - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 9:43 am:

    So, if you don’t buy your vape from a drug dealer you should be golden. Another advantage with legalization is that the sale of these black market products should decrease.

  3. - 50YrOldSkoalMan - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    And the State’s solution to this is HB 3883 which bans ALL flavored tobacco products including almost all smokeless tobacco (Skoal, Grizzly etc) which doesn’t have the slightest nexus to the perceived problem at hand. Flavored vape has no relationship either - but a can of chew? Come on!

  4. - JSS - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    Sun Times logic = drug dealers > state regulation.

  5. - @misterjayem - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    Cannabis legalization seem to be an area where the Sun-Times otherwise quality journalism gets a little sloppy and squirrely, e.g. &

    – MrJM

  6. - Streamwood Retiree - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    I worked with a man who smoked and chewed. He got mouth cancer. Chemotherapy ravaged him.

    Stop. Just stop. I smoked from age 14 to 32. it’s hard. Very hard. I’m not a man with a lot of willpower. If I can do it so can you. Just stop.

  7. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:33 am:

    What about craft vape juice ?

  8. - A Jack - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    This is not the first time that black market pot has caused problems. Back in the nineties there was a problem with illegal pesticides being used on imported pot. There are no rules in the black market. And cities that ban dispensaries are only encouraging that black market to continue.

  9. - MS - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    Except deaths are also occurring in states that have legalized.

  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    ===Except deaths are also occurring in states that have legalized===

    Right, but they are using illegal products. The ban doesn’t work. Put the criminals out of business.

  11. - depressed in politics - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    what study can you site for the fact that high-potency THC products are not harmful? To date, all of the THC products appear to be black market varieties and it is perhaps the additives that are the culprits, but the rush to exonerate high-potency oils used in vaping is not based on any scientific study I’m aware of.

  12. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    ===there was a problem with illegal pesticides being used on imported pot===

    Nope. That was the federal government spraying cannabis plants with paraquat. The criminals harvested the plants before they could die and then sold the products to an unsuspecting public.

  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    ===perhaps the additives that are the culprits===

    There’s no “perhaps” about it.

  14. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    Vaping? Vaping?

    If we have microscopic plastic fibers in our drinking water, and several legitimate studies have shown that we do, what is the long-term effect of using water-based vaping products containing these plastics?

    Vaping is just plain a bad idea.

  15. - depressed in politics - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    And the studies showing high potency THC oils are safe? That the additives are the ONLY cause of harm? This isn’t a “reefer madness” saying 3.4 mg cannabis plants will rot your brain with the first puff kind of concern.

  16. - MS - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    ~Right, but they are using illegal products.

    Perhaps however a death in Oregon was from products purchased at a legal dispensary. Likewise median age of vaping deaths is 19. Even at 19 years old, an individual will not be able to legally purchase products in Illinois.

  17. - A Jack - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    Yes, people are dying in legal states purchasing illegal products. Obviously the legal product is not priced low enough to combat these illegal vapes. States should review their taxing structures and restrictions on the quantity of suppliers if they want to combat low priced black market products.

    A public education campaign might be helpful as well. Do you want to buy your vapes from a dude in the alley who might be selling you liquid rat poison or from a legally regulated dispensary?

  18. - lake county democrat - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    I think vaping will go a long way towards minimizing friction between weed smokers and non-smokers in condos and apartment buildings - towel under the door isn’t going to cut it (and some folks won’t go for edibles - too impatient to wait for the THC to metabolize and kick-in)>

  19. - Enviro - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    @11:13 am ==A public education campaign might be helpful as well.==

    A public education campaign is probalby the only solution to the public health problems caused by vaping or smoking.

  20. - A Jack - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 11:25 am:

    High potency THC oil, also know as hash oil has been around for centuries.

  21. - depressed in politics - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 12:39 pm:

    @A Jack: First, so have opioids, so length of existence is not necessarily a sufficient indicia of safety. Second, just like opioids, technological improvements have radically increased potency. Just look at the difference between Morphine and Fentanyl. Have hash oils been 70% plus potent for “centuries”. Finally, show me a scientific study that shows that high potency THC oils consumed through inhalation (comparable to vaping) is safe if unadulterated and I’ll concede the point.

  22. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    ==towel under the door==

    Everyone in my building has already been reminded we aren’t allowed to smoke\vape on site. Not just indoors but in the property. While I support legalization I have no plans on indulging. I was just in Denver and didn’t indulge there so I don’t think I will once it’s legal in Illinois.

  23. - Anon but Social Knows me - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    Rich - you nailed it on the head. But one thing is missing from this conversation (well a bunch like sanity in reporting - see video below on that)… but the key thing here is greed rules. The gent in the video below bought his carts from legal dispensaries. However, what he received are counterfeit products or products made by people who carelessly used pesticide covered crop. He only vaped THC and supposedly from legit stores. Counterfeits are a huge issue in all industries - even air bags. So until that is enforced better, the risk continues. I think the best answer is when it’s time, buy only branded products that come from dispensary-owned production with certified content…


  24. - Huh? - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    Inhaling an oil can cause lipoid pneumonia. How the oil is inhaled or type of oil doesn’t matter.

    Some news stories were attributing a vitamin E carrier oil, used to dissolve the THC, as the cause of the lung disease.

    Years ago took scuba diving lessons. The instructors were adamant about keep lubricating oils out of the air tanks and regulators. They told horror stories about lipoid pneumonia caused by poorly maintained air compressors and regulators.

  25. - A Jack - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    Check out the National Institute of Heath which states there is no evidence that the oils are any more dangerous that marijuana flower.

    As far as safety is concerned, according to the CDC 5,000 people die per year crossing the street. Perhaps we should prioritize over sensationalize?

  26. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    Before vaping of course there was smoking flowers, which hasn’t directly killed anyone. Flowers these days are potent enough, as opposed to some of the stuff from the past. Flowers also connect people to the plants, to Mother Nature, and we see the unique beauty of the varieties in their natural states.

  27. - NorthsideNoMore - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    You are coating your lungs with unknown substances becuse you dont like the taste of whatever ? This is like sniffing areosol products in the 70s-80s If You dont know what’s in there it Might not be a good idea to ingest. Ok that’s said …now back to my cigar and wine.

  28. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    It’s still not nice to fool Mother Nature…She has Her own ways…and when we stray from them we all ultimately suffer for the greed of a select few.

  29. - Anon but Social Knows me - Friday, Oct 4, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    To those who don’t care for the smoke of the flower, get a vaporizer. It still makes a bit of “smoke” but it’s much lower, less smelly and not as bad on your lungs - plus bonus, no fees for THC juice, just buy flowers.

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