Pulmonary Illness Linked to Vaping?

In the last week the media has produced some fear mongering headlines involving an investigation of an Oregon death linked to vaping.

Articles on various websites in the last couple days are not shying away from pointing the finger at vape products purchased at a legal pot shop to be potentially linked to the cause of the death of the middle-aged Oregon man.

I call these fear-driven headlines blasphemy!

If you ask me the only connection one could make to a hazardous cannabis vape oil is one that would be sourced from the black market.

I was talking to some family members from California that shop around at some of the flea market style cannabis bodegas. We were specifically talking about certain vendors selling rip off vape cartridges that either didn’t work or didn’t get you high. My cousin was jokingly talking about them refilling old cartridges with hot dog water and ripping people off.

Frequently people come into Tacoma House of Cannabis asking about refilling empty vape carts with oil that they thinned out with substances like MCT oil or something else they purchased from the internet or at a tobacco vape shop.

I always tell people that this is a bad idea. Not just because the filaments could burn out in the vape cartridge and leave your oil trapped, but because cutting/thinning pure cannabis oil is not natural and one should never smoke a thinning agent.

The fear mongering that the various media outlets were doing didn’t take any of the black-market aspect into consideration.

NPR published an article that did a really good job breaking down what could have been the source of the health hazard.

In the NPR article they interviewed New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and picked his brain on the issues of what could be the source of the health hazard.

Zucker says that Vitamin E oil was very prevalent in about 13 of the patient-submitted cartridges that they analyzed.

Vitamin E oil could be used as a topical or a dietary supplement but vaping it could be very harmful. When it is “inhaled deep in the lung, [it] can cause problems,” Zucker tells NPR.

Vitamin E oil is not an approved additive per the rules and regulations of the New York medical marijuana program, and the cartridges that contained it appeared to be black market products purchased off the street, says Zucker.

Its reported that officials in Oregon say that the man that died of severe pulmonary illness had used a vape product purchased at one of Oregon’s state regulated marijuana stores.

If Oregon officials are going to make a connection of this death to the product he purchased in a legal marijuana store in their report, they had better also try to make a connection to any and everything that could have hindered this man’s lungs in the previous year.

I say that this type of press release is fear mongering and attempt to smear the name of legal cannabis. And that is totally not cool man.

Those that are still worried from the slough of stories that came out this week, my only advice would be to never purchase any marijuana product from anyone that is not a state licensed marijuana store. But c’mon man, especially a vape cart.

NFL’s stance on Cannabis: No

Football season is finally upon us, for all of us die hard fans our time to rejoice is now! Personally, the nostalgia and joy I get from the NFL season, rivals that of a Christmas morning for your average child. Between the fantasy football, the pig skin pick ‘em leagues, or just watching my Hawks battle it out every week, I freaking love the NFL. Some may call that a little bit immature and you know… I’m okay with that.

What I’m NOT okay with is the stance that the NFL has repeatedly taken on the topic of cannabis. Year after year the NFL is forced to take stances on issues that come up in the media’s spotlight.

Whether it’s the league ambivalently taking sides on social issues like what Kaepernick was kneeling during the national anthem for, or the league straight up enforcing penalties on players for actions in their personal lives.

With Kaepernick, teams around the league boycotted him as a player and wouldn’t roster him even though he was good enough and better than many players around the league. They didn’t want him to use the NFL stage as an outlet for the social issues he was advocating.

On account of this being a weed blog I’ll pump the brakes and get back to my element… cannabis. The NFL in the past, has been notorious for enforcing harsher penalties to players that test positive for marijuana, then athletes who have committed violent crimes.

Martellus Bennett, a retired NFL player, recently went on a Bleacher Report podcast and said that he thinks 89 percent of active NFL players smoke weed.

“There are times of the year where your body just hurts so bad,” Bennett said. “You don’t want to be popping pills all the time. There are anti-inflammatory drugs you take so long that they start to eat at your liver, kidneys and things like that. A human made that. God made weed.”

Andrew Brandt, writer for Sports Illustrated had this to say about the NFL and cannabis testing, “It is not a drug test; it is an intelligence test. Players who have not previously tested positive are only tested once a year, and only during a four-month offseason window that begins on April 20 (yes, 4/20, maybe the NFL does have a sense of humor) and ends on August 9.”

Nate Jackson, another retired NFL player, was interviewed on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and said that he thinks 50% of players in the NFL locker room smoke weed. When asked on his personal consumption of cannabis in the NFL, Jackson said, “I weeded as needed.” He then went on to say how viable cannabis has been to him as a medical alternative to painkillers.

I may disagree with the league in the stance they take on various issues but I’m not going to lie, they have a goddamn awesome product and I subscribe to it religiously. But hey at least I stream my gameday bootleg-style on the internet.

Happy first week of football ya’ll, GO HAWKS!!!