Some people are still skeptical about cannabis. Its legalization is making a lot of people uncomfortable. Although when we look at the facts its legalization would permit better control over the substance. In states where it is not legal, users have to buy on the black market. The black market is not regulated and never will be. Meaning a lot of bad "products" end up in the hands of the population. The products are at risk of containing pesticide chemicals and many other harmful contaminants.
The black market also won't ask for proof of ID when selling drugs to minors. All they want is to make a sale. The best way to protect ourselves and our youth is by legalizing cannabis altogether. That way it will be harder for younger people to have access to the substance, which isn't good for their developing brain. But it will also ensure that any products containing cannabis that's available on the market respect a series of criteria that ensure they are safe to consume.
Take vaping, for example, in the past years it gained in popularity. Until lung injuries started to occur when consumers were vaping cannabis/THC pods. Those pods were sold on the black market and were laced with vitamin E. Close to 3 000 people suffered from these lung injuries called EVALI. 60 death was recorded so far. Research is showing that Vitamin E used as a thickening agent by the black-market distributors is the main cause of those injuries. In a recent study, vitamin E deposits were found in the lungs of 48 out of 51 EVALI patients.
These results reinforce the belief that the black market had more to do with it than we know. The EVALI outbreak significantly impacted the growing industries of vapes/e-cigarettes and cannabis. Researchers then looked closer at the confirmed cases from the CDC database and the e-cigarette use in 2017 from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
What they found is that the amount of cases of EVALI is higher in states where recreational cannabis is not legal… Meaning the consumers in states where recreational cannabis is not legal had no other choice than buy on the black market and sadly ended up with bad merchandisers at their mercy. The researcher precise: "This association was not driven by state-level differences in e-cigarette use, and EVALI case rates were not associated with the state-level prevalence of e-cigarette use. One possible inference from our results is that the presence of legal markets for marijuana has helped mitigate or may be protective against EVALI."
-States where adult-use recreational cannabis is legal, recorded an average of 1.7 EVALI cases per million population
-States where medical cannabis is legal, recorded 8.8 EVALI cases per million population
-States where cannabis use is prohibited completely, recorded 8.1 EVALI cases per million of population
This issue with vaping merchandise isn't the only one we will face if we keep cannabis illegal. The demand for it is expanding. The slower we are at making it a safe and regulated market the more at risk we are putting the consumers.