Now that marijuana is legal in certain states, regulators are facing the quandary of how to regulate it in the absence of federal guidance. The Associated Press describes the problems connected with “marijuana product safety” now that the drug is no longer underground in Colorado, Washington, and other states that have legalized medical marijuana. Health agencies now face the task of making sure that the production is safe and buyers get what they pay for.
One problem states face in regulating marijuana—whether to treat marijuana like something smoked or something eaten. Other problems include sanitation, edible marijuana, and workplace safety in cases where butane or other explosive chemicals are used in the production of marijuana products.
Genifer Murray, the owners of a Denver lab that tests marijuana, said she has seen egregious safety and sanitation violations in her inspections: “”There’s no other plant like this that you smoke and eat and use as medicine. Everybody’s entitled to a safe and effective product, and right now it’s completely hit and miss. What exactly are you buying?” The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws argues that marijuana should be regulated like alcohol or an herbal supplement, which doesn’t require rigorous testing for safety or effectiveness.
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