Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Monday called for a ban on products that allow people to vape THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana.
"The tragic vape injuries involving THC demand that we consider a federal reckoning when it comes to the dangerous conflict between state and federal pot laws that leave federal regulators on sidelines," Gottlieb, a medical doctor and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, tweeted Monday.
He wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal the recent spate of vaping-related illnesses show the dangers that THC vapes pose.
"According to an analysis by health officials in Wisconsin and Illinois, about 87% of those recently injured said they had vaped tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, from prefilled cartridges purchased from 'informal sources' during the three months before they developed symptoms," Gottlieb wrote. "A majority of the victims said they used THC every day."
Gottlieb notes "the FDA has jurisdiction over 'components and parts' used to vape derivatives of tobacco. Manufacturers selling devices for cannabis often make vague claims that their products are intended for use with extracts and leaves, which could include nicotine and tobacco. This might give the FDA a hook over the THC vaping pens that are enabling most of the harm," though he adds "such an assertion of authority might be hard for the FDA to sustain without clear laws and firm political support."
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