In the wake of the vaping health crisis last year, in which numerous consumers died and many more experienced severe respiratory symptoms, many have adopted more restrictive attitudes toward vaping and cannabis concentrates. The move has led to major cities, including San Francisco, to banthe sale of vape pens altogether.  

However, some areas have taken a different approach. For example, the government of Pennsylvania is eyeing legalization and regulation as a tool to make vaping safer within the state. This is highly unique. According to VICE News, which reported the story, other than in Pennsylvania, “There are, really, no other examples of this strategy.”

Last fall when Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced his support for legalizing recreational weed, he said, “The real problem with vaping is the illicit substances that are being introduced into the vaping.”

“Again, bring it out in the open. Let’s deal with it.”

Later scientific findings confirmed Gov. Wolf’s beliefs, when the CDC discovered that the toxic component in vaping oil was the additive vitamin E, found in some black market vape cartridges. 

The Governor’s office is continuing to advocate for legalization. Recently, lieutenant governor John Fetterman tweeted that the choice in Pennsylvania was between legalization, which he said “brings regulatory control, controlled distribution, testing/purity standards, tax revenue, and ends racially biased enforcement, “and allowing a “dude [to make] bootleg vape kits in his garage.”

Fetterman says he recently conducted a tour of every county in the state and found that more than 68% of those attending his talks supported legalization.

Regardless of popular support, a cannabis legalization initiative is expected to have a hard struggle of it in the state’s Republican-controlled legislature. However, Wolf and Fetterman have had success with other progressive policies, including Safehouse, the first legal safe-injection site in the U.S. which is set to open soon. 

Photo via Flickr/Lindsay Fox

Natalie