We speak with the Boston Vaping Panel to discuss the recently decided four-month vaping ban: “The bottom line here is we have over 1200 people across the country dying in intensive care unit from something that’s vaguely related to these devices. I’ve never felt that these devices were safe, but it’s coming to a head at the moment.” Because of the number of people who have died from vaping products, Massachusetts thought that a temporary ban would be useful in taking the time to conduct the research and figure out the root of the problem. While the panel agrees that enforcing outright bans does tend to drive people to the illicit market, the primary job of a governor is to protect public health and safety. The episode continues with a Q&A from the public, with questions about the medical need for vaping devices, the efficacy of prohibition, how to contact local government representatives, the necessity of regulation, public education, and more.
Seth Adler: Hey vaping panel, welcome to Cannabis Economy, I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on canneconomy.com, that's two ns and the word economy, or wherever you currently get your podcasts. First word from our supporter and then vaping panel.
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Seth Adler: Okay, fantastic. Thank you so much Britta, very much appreciate it. Thank you for being here this late in the afternoon. We have a lot to get to, so we're going to go ahead and do that. If you have any questions while we're going, please go ahead and throw up your hand and I'll do my best to come over to you as close to real time as possible. Okay. Fantastic. So let's go ahead and start by understanding exactly who we're talking to and what we're talking about.
Seth Adler: So Jen, everybody can see very clearly that you are a special advisor to the governor. You're absolutely right next to him, making every decision that he makes. No, that's not the case at all. Right? So, Massachusetts Commissioner, Cannabis Control Commission, what does that mean? What is the relationship that you have with the governor? How do the two offices interact?
Jennifer F.: In 2017, Governor Baker actually called and asked if I would be his appointee to the Cannabis Control Commission. Under Chapter 55 of the acts of 17, there are five commissioners and three appointing authorities, governor being one. His appointment to the commission needed to be a public health person, so someone who had a background in substance abuse, mental health, public health, et cetera, and him and I had worked closely together on some of the addiction legislation in 2016 when he was in office.
Jennifer F.: So he called to ask me to serve as the commissioner, I said, yes, which means I resigned from the Massachusetts State Senate after 13 years. As an appointee we consult once in a while. I consult with him on issues that I'm thinking of, but I'm an independent authority in a commission that's independent.
Seth Adler: Okay. And as far as the ban, which everybody wants to hear about, what was your role on the commission with the ban?
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