Legalized Marijuana vs. Vaping Over-Regulation: The mysterious double standard
Only in American is it possible for at least seven different states to legalize recreational and medical marijuana while multiple others simultaneously demonize the vaping industry for its perceived likeness to smoking. How do these anti-vaping activist groups think that marijuana is primarily consumed by its supporters anyway? Smoking marijuana looks almost exactly like smoking a tobacco cigarette, yet smoking marijuana does not seem to appear to be as offensive as the life-saving vapor products that help nearly 450,000 Americans overcome tobacco addiction.
The vaping industry can learn a lot from the cannabis industry. These people have made tremendous progress in the years-long fight to overcome a nearly global prejudice against their product du jour. Where did the vaping industry go wrong?
Perhaps we should have reconsidered naming our products “e-cigarettes,” almost exactly the same name as the very thing that our product is supposed to detest and replace (except with an “e” in front of it). This was mistake #1, but it is a mistake that we may never be able to successfully overcome.
Two seemingly contradictory laws: California Prop 56 and Prop 64
California had two very controversial ballot initiatives to decide in this year’s election. Prop 64, which will legalize recreational marijuana for the entire state. And Prop 56 which will place a $2-per-pack tax on tobacco and another hefty tax on e-cigs and vaping products of between 60 to 75 percent, depending on how the law is interpreted. Both measures passed.
(Related Article: CALIFORNIA PROP 64 VS. PROP 56: TV COMMERCIALS FOR WEED AND A HUGE E-CIG TAX)
In one fell swoop, Californians said it was perfectly acceptable to smoke weed but completely unacceptable to smoke tobacco or, even sillier, inhale flavor-enhanced water vapor. If they could, they would make smoking tobacco and vaping illegal, but they can’t. So, instead they will simply tax them out of existence. And if California passes a law…of any kind… other states are sure to follow.
Is legalized cannabis getting a free pass? Maybe. But keep in mind, the official name of Prop 64 is the "Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act."
Control. Regulate. Tax.
California and states like them might only be passing legislation to legalize marijuana so that they can turn around in the next few years and tax the heck out of it just like vaping. The trouble is that the cannabis industry has much deeper pockets and generates far more revenues than the vaping industry. Marijuana retailers simply have more money, more clout, more political power, and a wider fan base than vapers.
(Related Article: ELECTION DAY 2016: VAPING TAX HIKES FROM CALIFORNIA TO NORTH DAKOTA)
On November 8, seven states voted to legalize recreational or medical cannabis. With the addition of these new seven states, close to a 25 percent of all Americans will now have access to legalized cannabis. These seven states include:
- Arizona rejected the notion.
- Maine is still counting the votes.
Meanwhile, several countries around the world are trying to ban vaping entirely, largely due to the uber-corrupt World Health Organization (WHO). Prohibitionist countries include such otherwise trendy destinations as Australia and New Zealand. The United States may soon be one of them.
Should the vaping industry be angry at the cannabis people? Absolutely not. We should admire and respect them for their well-crafted efforts to successfully change public opinion. And perhaps, just perhaps, we might be bold enough to ask them for a little help in modifying our strategy to win the War on Vaping, because, at the moment, we are losing terribly.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints, policy or company position of Vapes.com, the rest of our staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.