Vaping epidemic complicates marijuana legalization in Minnesota

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Opponents of legalizing marijuana in Minnesota are seizing on the current outbreak of vaping-associated illnesses and teen nicotine addiction to urge caution on the cannabis front — even as advocates of legalization ramp up their campaign ahead of subsequent year’s legislative session.

“I hope this slows down the rush by [Gov. Tim Walz] and Home Democrats on recreational marijuana,” mentioned state Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, the majority leader. “If they see the correlation, that could possibly at least slow down the approach.”

State Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, mentioned the outbreak of illness is far more cause to push for a legal but rigorously regulated cannabis marketplace. Winkler, who is the majority leader of the Home, mentioned Minnesota must prohibit the sale of each nicotine and cannabis to everyone beneath 21 and concentrate on solution security for adult customers. “The vaping dilemma is one particular of beneath-regulation and folks not realizing what they’re consuming,” mentioned Winkler.

The science on vaping and lung injuries is unsettled, and the torrent of at times confusing news about vaping threatens to complicate the efforts of marijuana legalization advocates. And it is coming at an inopportune time: With cannabis legalization marching steadily across the nation, Minnesota advocates started a big push more than the summer season to make legislative headway in 2020.

Vaping is a preferred way to ingest THC — which is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — each in states like Colorado and California, exactly where marijuana has been legalized, and in Minnesota, exactly where it remains illegal.

A lot of of these suffering lung injuries — far more than 1,600 nationwide — vaped each nicotine and THC. But information recommend that…

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