Cannabis trade group: Vaping deaths result of 'failed prohibition policies'

Cannabis trade group: Vaping deaths result of 'failed prohibition policies'
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The cannabis industry is blaming a recent wave of vaping deaths on "failed prohibition policies" against marijuana.

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) this week called on Congress to take action to remove pot from the controlled substance list and regulate it. 

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"These unfortunate illnesses and deaths are yet another terrible, and largely avoidable, consequence of failed prohibition policies," NCIA Executive Director Aaron Smith said in a statement Wednesday. "Current federal laws interfere with research, prevent federal regulatory agencies from establishing safety guidelines, discourage states from regulating cannabis, and make it more difficult for state-legal cannabis businesses to displace the illicit market."

"It is now the responsibility of Congress to end prohibition and regulate cannabis without delay," Smith added. "By removing cannabis from the schedule of controlled substances and instituting a clear regulatory framework through existing agencies, the federal government can provide helpful guidance to states that have or wish to establish regulated cannabis control systems while helping put irresponsible illicit market producers out of business for good."

Vaping represents a quarter of cannabis industry business in some states, according to CNN

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday that it had identified 380 confirmed or probable cases of lung disease connected to vaping across 36 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Six people in have died from lung diseases linked to e-cigarettes. 

The Trump administration is seeking to ban non-tobacco flavors of e-cigarettes.