Smoking marijuana is big news and big money in America. There have long been claims about its medicinal purposes and healing qualities and thousands of people in America have supported and protested for the move to legalise marijuana. Currently twenty-six states and the district to Columbia have laws legalising weed in some form. Other states are soon to join the long list of places which have approved the use of medical marijuana. In November 2016, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all passed measures legalising recreational marijuana. As well as the current and pending legalisations, many states have also decriminalized the possession of small quantities of marijuana.
The Legal Weed Market
In 2016, the legal weed market in America saw a 30% increase in revenue with billions of dollars being poured into the sale and distribution of the controversial plant. This number is only expected to rise and it is predicted that by 2021, the market will be worth a whopping 27.9 billion dollars annually. In case you didn’t know, when Donald Trump was voted into office, the vote was also made to legalise marijuana in a further four states. Former American president Barack Obama made a statement on his position on marijuana and said that he’d smoked it himself as a kid and didn’t see it as more harmful than alcohol in terms of its effect on the individual user. These comments are rather astounding especially when we observe Obamas lack of opinion on the FDA’s overly harsh regulations when it comes to e-cigarettes.
How are we at the place where it’s more acceptable to speak openly about using marijuana whether for recreational or medicinal purposes, while a product which has been proven to aid smoking cessation is considered almost a taboo subject?
The FDA: How Do They View Marijuana Compared To Vaping
The FDA has made some interesting statements about the rules and regulations surrounding marijuana and recreational and medicinal use. The language used in the statements is positive and the FDA finish of by saying they will facilitate further work and research into the medicinal uses of marijuana. Remarkably, the FDA appears to be rather sceptical when it comes to vaping and e-cigarettes- in fact the two statements when compared are worlds apart. The statement heavily focus on negative statistics surrounding vaping insisting that school children have either used or are using e-cigarettes and that they are being enticed by the appealing vape juices available to them. The statement fails to make any mention about the amount of adults who are now non-smokers thanks to e-cigarettes, nor does it mention the potential lives that could be saved should smoker switch to using e-cigarettes.
Money Makes The World Go Around
Financial gain seems to be at the root of the more widely accepted weed market. Marijuana can be mass produced, is worth billions of dollars and is almost untouchable since it’s a naturally grown product and is not of the same obscure mechanical make-up of e-cigarettes. It’s clear that there is a level of double standards between e-cigarettes and marijuana. In 2015, a reviews paper was published in the illustrious Journal of The American Medical Association in which the use of marijuana was highly endorsed as an adept method of treating chronic pain relief, depression, anxiety and other ailments. The mainstream media picked up on this and covered the data found in the journal in a positive light. By contrast the media have a lot to say about the potentially harmful effects of vaping.
Is The UK Soon To Follow Suit?
The situation in the UK is different in regards to vaping and although the Tobacco Products Directive has changed the way manufacturers sell and advertise vaping products there isn’t the same level of media frenzy that is seen in America. However this could also change in the near future as senior members of parliament have called for Theresa May to legalise marijuana in the UK. The marijuana trade is currently worth £6.8 billion a year, and legalising the substance would make the government millions of pounds.
Vaping is causing a stir in the media around the world, whilst it appears marijuana is being endorsed and legalised in many places in the world. Soon it may become socially acceptable to smoke marijuana, and smoking e-cigarettes by contrast could be seen as taboo.