Letters to the Editor

Before the vape crisis floats in...

Monday, September 16, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The Ganja Growers and Producers Association Jamaica (GGPAJ) is bringing to the attention of the public the unfortunate events taking place mainly in the United States in which over 130 people are dying daily from overdoses of prescribed opioids and the misuse of prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic products such as fentanyl & OxyContin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Accompanying this is the new vaping crisis in which young people, especially, use vaporisers or electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes) filled with unhealthy, dangerous components and chemicals, including habit-forming substances and nicotine for smoking tobacco.

After numerous investigations, US President Donald Trump has suggested that vaping devices and flavours may have to be taken off the market to help stop this developing crisis as more people have developed a mysterious lung disease from the practice.

The GGPAJ is calling on our Government to follow suit to prevent the growing opioid and vaping crisis from creating a dangerous and unhealthy situation in the country, particularly among schoolchildren and young people who are attracted by these fads and imported supplies.

We expect our members, associates, licence holders, farmers, and the elders and members of the Rastafari, herbalist, naturopaths, Maroon, and traditional wellness communities to continue to lead the way in keeping Jamaica informed and free from these new, dangerous chemical and synthetic products.

The GGPAJ is extremely concerned as we have seen many imported ganja (marijuana, hemp, cannabis) seeds and related products across the country. We call upon the Cannabis Licensing Authority; the research labs at The University of the West Indies; University of Technology, Jamaica; Northern Caribbean University; College of the Arts, Science and Education; Scientific Research Council; Bureau of Standards Jamaica; Ministry of Health; and Customs to pay special attention to this issue as people are even repackaging condemned products and selling them to consumers for profit, regardless.

We make a special appeal to the Ministry of Education, teachers, and parents to monitor this situation and ensure that no dangerous health products are being sold in or around schools.

Richard Crawford

President

Ganja Growers and Producers Association Jamaica

gfgpa@gmail.com


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