Massachusetts Judge Says Medical Cannabis Patients May Vape Despite Ban

A judge in Massachusetts has lifted the ban on vaping products for medical marijuana patients, ruling Tuesday that the state went too far on the emergency regulations imposed a little more than a month ago.

“The longer the ban remains in effect, the more patients will face undesirable choices, including opioid use, black market purchases, or suffering severe pain,” Judge Douglas Wilkins of the Suffolk County, Mass. Superior Court wrote in the ruling.

Wilkins’ decision undoes a ban on all vaping products that was imposed in late September by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, who declared a public health emergency in response to a nationwide outbreak of severe lung illnesses—some of which led to death—that were linked to e-cigarette devices.

The ban was supposed to last for four months, and it applied to both online and in-store retail of nicotine or cannabis vaping products.

“The purpose of this public health emergency is to temporarily pause all sales of vaping products so that we can work with our medical experts to identify what is making people sick and how to better regulate these products to protect the health of our residents,” Baker, a Republican, said in announcing the ban.

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