Just Say NO to House Bill 1230

 

Allowing Marijuana Smoking or Vaping in Public Places 

Could be Bad for Business, Bad for Health, and Bad for Tourism

 

House Bill 1230, which could lead to permitting marijuana or vaping in many public places that receive a license, has passed the House by a vote of 41-24 and is headed to the Senate. The proposed law gives local communities the option to allow just about any type of business to obtain a license to open a place where people 21 or older could consume, smoke, or vape marijuana. They could be located in any medical and recreational places, restaurants, bars, book stores, spas, grocery stores or in any retailer. House Bill 1230 has no restriction as to where marijuana businesses could be located as long as marijuana smoking or vaping was not visible from outside.  They would have to be enclosed or ventilated, which we know doesn't contain all the toxic chemicals emitted by marijuana smoking or vaping. While House Bill 1230 does not now allow tobacco smoking or tobacco products in these businesses, it does allow the use of electronic smoking devices. According to the Centers for Disease Control, electronic smoking devices can be used to deliver marijuana and other drugs.  Some electronic smoking devices can mix tobacco with marijuana.

 

Take Action to Keep Our Air Smoke-Free

 

CALL OR E-MAIL your Senator in the Colorado Legislature to express your concerns about House Bill 1230. Be courteous, polite, and respectful in your communications with legislators.  For GASP’s writing tips, click here Share your personal experiences on how exposure to tobacco, marijuana, or vape smoke affects you (now or in the past). If you do not know who your Senator is in the Colorado legislature and how to contact them, this website can be helpful: https://leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator

GASP’s Concerns

 

House Bill 1230 goes a little too far and is bad for business, bad for health, and likely bad for tourism. It needs to be amended to better protect the public and workers from the emissions from marijuana smoking and vaping. Allowing marijuana smoking or vaping in restaurants, bars, coffee shops, grocery stores, book stores, spas, and other businesses is the wrong direction for Colorado.  No one should be forced to breathe smoke from tobacco or marijuana or the aerosols emitted from vaping devices in public places or workplaces. Smoke is smoke, and exposure to the harmful chemicals in both secondhand tobacco and marijuana smoke or the aerosols emitted from electronic smoking devices will hurt our health. The right to breathe clean, smoke-free air should take precedence over the right to pollute our indoor air.

 

Is House Bill 1230 Bad For Business? Drifting smoke could put some establishments out of business and affect their insurance premiums because many insurance companies provide discounts for smoke-free policies.  Places that might be especially affected are businesses with a health or beauty focus.  It will affect workers, especially those who must enter to deliver goods, preform maintenance, or provide services.  Ventilation cannot contain all the toxic chemicals emitted from tobacco or marijuana smoke, which can drift into adjoining spaces through gaps in plumbing fixtures, outlets, plaster cracks, and other unsealed openings. The number one source of complaints GASP receives is due to smoke drifting into businesses and homes.  A recent study found that electronic smoking-device chemicals traveled from a vape shop into adjoining businesses and settled on surfaces forming a residue that included nitrosamines, which are known to cause cancer.

 

Will House Bill 1230 Affect Tourism?  A majority of Coloradans do not use marijuana (around 85%).  Less people may use marijuana in other states, which could deter tourism by people or groups that have strong concerns about drug use. Most Americans live in states or communities where smoking is not allowed in public places and most support laws on limiting smoking in public places and workplaces. In Colorado, a 2017 survey of 300 Colorado voters on marijuana smoking and vaping in public places found that more than 80 percent of Coloradans support keeping and strengthening the Clean Indoor Air Act, that 86 percent agree that the law should apply to all types of smoking including marijuana smoking, and that 76 percent agree that the law should also apply to vaping.

 

Will House Bill 1230 Weaken the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act? The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act ensures that Coloradans have the right to breathe smoke-free air in public places and in workplaces. The restriction on indoor marijuana smoking was added to this Act in 2013.

Is House Bill 1230 a Step Backwards? More than thirty communities in Colorado have been strengthening, not weakening, their smoke-free protections to include electronic devices and marijuana. Many include outdoor areas like parks, trails, and playgrounds.

 

Does House Bill 1230 Conflict With the Colorado Constitution? Amendment 64 does not permit marijuana consumption that is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others.  Furthermore, Amendment 64 legalized only four classes of marijuana establishments: (1) marijuana cultivation facilities, (2) marijuana testing facilities, (3) marijuana product manufacturing facilities, and (4) retail marijuana stores. Amendment 64 did not authorize a new class of license outside of those listed above, and thus does not provide authority for the state to license privately owned businesses for the public consumption of marijuana on those premises in the same way that it does with alcohol.

 

Will House Bill 1230 Be Hard to Enforce? Electronic smoking devices can be used to deliver marijuana and other drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  Some devices can also mix tobacco with marijuana.  How will we know what people are vaping and what we are breathing?

 

Will House Bill 1230 Reflect the Preferences of Most Coloradans? Coloradans want control of what they put in their bodies, and they understand that all secondhand tobacco, marijuana smoke, and aerosol emissions from electronic smoking devices contain chemicals that will hurt their health. No one should be forced to breathe harmful chemicals at work and public places.  Most Coloradans do not use marijuana (85%).

 

How Will House Bill 1230 Affect Your Health?  At least 33 individual constituents known to cause cancer are present in both marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke, according to a 2009 California Environmental Protection Agency report, and exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke can have harmful health effects, including those linked to lung cancer, atherosclerosis (partially blocked arteries), heart attack, and stroke.  In a 2018 study a California environmental scientist tested particle concentrations at a dispensary event where vaporizing and dabbing occurred and found particulate-matter levels of 250 to 600 ug/m3. The emissions were nearly constant for six hours.  These kind of air pollution levels are the same levels of air pollution caused by wildfires and can lead to cardiovascular and respiratory disease, according to the study.  As for electronic smoking devices, they emit chemicals that are not harmless to bystanders. The devices can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine, heavy metals like lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Electronic smoking devices are also unregulated products that have no requirements for ingredient disclosure, accurate labeling, or quality control.

 

For more information about secondhand marijuana smoke, visit smokeissmoke.com

 

The Colorado Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution (GASP) is a 501-C-3 statewide nonprofit organization founded in 1977.  Through education and policy change, GASP works to save lives by eliminating exposure to secondhand smoke at work, in public places, and in multiunit housing.  No one should be forced to breathe smoke, whether it is from tobacco or marijuana smoking or vaping.