Is there a double standard regarding legal marijuana and vaping?
There are currently thirty states and the District of Columbia that legalize marijuana to some degree. Meanwhile, there are countless city governments considering legislation that will effectively ban the sales of vaping supplies and e-liquids in their metropolitan areas. Isn’t this a double standard? If smoking weed is now considered socially acceptable and perhaps even healthy, how on earth did vaping get such a bad reputation?
Both actions involve the heating or burning of a substance that transitions into a white plume of smoke or vapor. In fact, pot enthusiasts can even use vaping devices to enjoy some of their favorite strains. So, according to this line of logic, smoking marijuana through a good, old-fashioned joint for medicinal purposes is perfectly fine. But if you choose to vape it instead, then you’re really in trouble!
Marijuana versus vaping: California’s Prop 56 and Prop 64
In November of 2016 while the world was watching to see if Hillary Clinton would be defeated by Donald Trump, politicians in California were eagerly at work trying to pass two different pieces of seemingly contradictory legislation. The first was Prop 56, which essentially placed a $2.00 sin tax on all tobacco products (and electronic cigarettes) statewide after April 1, 2017. FYI: It passed.
The second was California Prop 64 which was also approved. This piece of legislation effectively made the use of both medical and recreational marijuana legal for persons living in California over the age of 21. Of course, the legislation also included certain sales and cultivation sin taxes– just like Prop 56.
Are you beginning to see the double standard? In one case, Prop 56 is essentially trying to discourage the use of vaping products by make them more expensive. In the other case, Prop 64 is essentially encouraging the use of marijuana products by making them legal and more accessible. The fact that weed consumers will pay a small pot tax is almost always forgotten.
Both products produce white plumes of a gaseous substance. And both products are being taxed to great lengths by the California state government. The only difference lies in the subliminal messaging behind the regulations.
While medical experts and public health officials around the world largely support the ideology that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, the passage of California Prop 56 seems to send the opposite message. Conversely, medical experts also largely brag about the many medicinal qualities of marijuana. And, also conversely, the passage of California Prop 64 seems to support these claims.
So, why the double standard? Perhaps it is simply a matter of money.
Perhaps the only way that local, state, and federal governments can tax the hell out of the vaping industry is to regulate it in the same way as the tobacco industry. Even though vaping is healthier, politicians must demonize it and equate it to cigarette smoking if they want to reap the rewards of over-taxation.
Could this really be the primary reason for the mysterious double standard? Is the world of politics really that cynical?
Related Article: Legalized Marijuana: An unlikely mentor in the War on Vaping?