Does the DEA Oppose Vaping?
The smoke has cleared and vaping is the biggest market share for cannabis consumption devices and products. This is no surprise when you look at the infamous Pax cannabis vaporizer (same company as Juul pre-2017) and how they have grown in attention and profits. The vaporizer stands out with reliability, ease of use, price access, and brand. Piercing media and culture, it quickly was recognized for its risks and potential for misuse. An already controversial tool was now in the cross hairs of the government officials and the FDA and DEA.
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.
Vaping has ghosted its way into the mainstream as an easy alternative to smoking cannabis by flame. As legalization spread across the nation so did the legal access to cannabis vaping products. Specifically THC vaping concentrates. It is easy to make the liquid, but easy does not mean safe. As the illicit market of vaping grew so did the impact on the public and the youth.
As far as public safety comes explosive buildings and labs will always raise concern. BHO (butane hash oil) is a way of creating THC concentrates using, you guest it, explosive butane. This is a pretty simple process that you can discover in a quick google search. Basically the butane pulls the THC off and then once the butane evaporates you have your concentrate. The danger is intense when the butane is not properly contained through any part of the process. If the vapor were to escape one spare could be a BIG problem. And it has been on occasion like the explosion in LA May 4th 2019.
More pressing has been the ease of access and misuse of these cannabis vapes by underaged minors. Not only are these intuitive but can also come in flavors and parched illegally online. This online marketplace was connected to the string of nicotine and THC vape deaths and injuries at the end of 2019. The DEA was already edgy because of the never ending in person drug struggles and explosive vape shops had not planned on this new internet vape fonominon.
While vaping is not the biggest concern for the DEA or the FDA, it is on their short list of criminal activity to disrupt and prevent. They continue to work with each other and similar agencies and groups to improve the health and livelihood of people in the United States. How well they are able to do it and how fairly is something only the future will tell. One thing for sure, education and honesty can help us get there.