CAL NORML LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT
E-CIG BILL SB 140 WOULD BAN MEDICAL CANNABIS VAPORIZING IN NON-SMOKING AREAS
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY BLOWING SMOKE ABOUT E-CIGS AND VAPORIZERS
SACRAMENTO – The California legislature is considering an anti-e-cigarette bill, SB 140 by Sen. Leno (D-SF), that would perversely classify smokeless medical cannabis vaporizers as “tobacco products” and ban their use everywhere tobacco smoking is prohibited.
California NORML is objecting to the bill on the grounds that it would jeopardize patients’ ability to lawfully medicate in virtually all indoor spaces, including private meeting rooms, lounges, restrooms, dining areas, places of employment, and even in patients’ own residences in many multi-unit dwellings. Presently, vaporizers offer a safe and convenient way for patients to inhale their medicine in these and other areas where smoking is prohibited. SB 140 would effectively force patients out on to the streets and 20 feet from doorways unless they can find one of the very rare legally allowed indoor smoking rooms, which are polluted by tobacco smoke.
E-cigarettes and vaporizers are fundamentally safer than smoking because they don’t emit the innumerable toxins, carcinogens, tars, and particulates produced by combustion. Scientific studies of e-cigs and vaporizers- including cannabis vaporizer studies sponsored by California NORML and the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research – have shown they virtually eliminate hazardous smoke emissions and pose no substantive health risk to second-hand bystanders.
SB 140 is sponsored by the state’s influential anti-tobacco lobby, led by the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and CA Dept. of Public Health. Advocates have launched a multimillion-dollar public misinformation campaign aimed at demonizing e-cigs as equivalent to smoking.
“Anti-tobacco zealots are blowing smoke about e-cigs,” charges Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer, “the evidence is clear that vaporization is a valuable harm reduction tool which has helped countless users quit smoking entirely.”
Cal NORML is urging the legislature to amend SB 140 to exempt medical cannabis vaporizers from the definition of e-cigarettes, and to let private employers, property owners, landlords and tenants make their own decisions about allowing e-cigs and vaporizers on their property.