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Dori: Heroin, meth fine in WA, but flavored vaping products have to go

Vaping continues to cause problems in Washington State. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Jay Inslee is putting his foot down on vaping with a new executive order to ban all flavored vaping products.

Washington became one of the first two states in the country to legalize marijuana, in violation of federal law. We have county prosecutors who have effectively legalized personal possession amounts of hard drugs by refusing to prosecute possession of less than 2 grams.

We have thousands of people in our state who are suffering because of their addiction issues. It puts them on the street and leads to a life of crime. It costs about $38,000 a year to feed a heroin habit — and the only way an addict who can’t hold down a job can afford that is by breaking into your car and your house.

We’ve encouraged as much heroin, as much meth, and as much marijuana as we can. We have become one of the drug capitals of the U.S. But because of seven cases of vaping-related lung illnesses, it is important to wipe out flavored vaping products.

Now look, vaping seems stupid to me. I would never do it, personally. But out of all the states in the country, how in the world can Washington — which has essentially legalized small amounts of hard drugs — ban vaping? That makes zero sense. Nothing Jay Inslee does these days makes sense.

Dori: Shameful that Snohomish County prosecutor can’t prosecute drugs

But wait, I think we can actually make some sense out of this. Inslee lost out on his national spotlight when he had to end his presidential run. Now, every other state enforces heroin laws — so coming down hard on heroin would not get him any attention.

But if his state becomes the first state with an executive order banning vaping, that will put him back in the national spotlight. He is clinging to that last tiny bit of national recognition that he got when he was running for president.

“I am confident that this executive order will save lives. I am confident that it will save children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction,” he said Friday.

Okay … do you think that maybe enforcing heroin laws might save lives? In 2016, there were 219 opioid overdose deaths in King County alone. Why are the seven vaping illnesses so much more important to Jay Inslee than the hundreds of opioid deaths?

That is my explanation for what is going on here. I don’t think anybody can come up with a logical rebuttal to a governor who is alright with heroin injection sites, but not with vaping. Heroin kills thousands. Vaping has harmed several people’s lungs.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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