President of the Ganja Growers and Producers Association Jamaica (GGPAJ), Richard Crawford, has urged the Government to take urgent steps to prevent the importation of synthetic marijuana even as the United States grapples with an opioid and vaping crisis.
Crawford pointed out that US President Donald Trump yesterday suggested that vaping devices and flavours may have to be taken off the market to help stop the crisis as more people have developed a mysterious lung disease from the practice.
According to the GGPAJ president, more than 130 people are dying daily from overdoses of prescribed opioids, the misuse of prescription pain relivers, heroin, and synthetic products such as Fentanyl and Oxy-Contin in the US.
He noted that accompanying the misuse of drugs was the new vaping crisis where young people, especially, use vapourisers or electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes), filled with unhealthy, dangerous components and chemicals, including habit-forming substances and nicotine for smoking tobacco.
Crawford said that synthetic cannabis and other man-made products are having severe health repercussions.
“We have evidence that some products have already reached our shores; they are on display, they are on sale in various places,” said Crawford, adding that members of his organisation have already approached the Scientific Research Council and the University of Technology to test some of the products.
“If this comes into Jamaica, you can imagine the problems we would have (as) we are already having difficulties controlling what goes into the mouths of our children and we really do not want another situation like this.”