Police in Sebastopol, California are warning local educators that teenagers could be using e-cigarettes to get high. They held a meeting for parents at the local high school this week so that "parents, grandparents and other community members have a chance to find out about practices like smoking hash oil in electronic cigarettes," the Press Democrat reported.
Though police say they mean to explain local teenage trends, there's nothing new, or local, about it. Last year, local police in New York and the media there hyped the "threat" of using e-cigarettes and vapor pens to smoke marijuana without the smoke. It could lead to heroin, one cop said. Opponents of e-cigarettes have been pushing the idea that the safer alternative to cigarettes should be shunned since the product first came out, and tacked the boogeyman of drug use onto them years ago as part of that effort. But from cigarette papers to apples, knives, and light bulbs, a host of everyday household items could be used to get high by the resourceful. There's no need to demonize any of them, e-cigarettes, or drug use to have an honest conversation, in fact it makes it impossible.
It is, though, the best way for drug warriors to stem the growing opposition to prohibitionist drug policy, and to get comments like this one, from the Press Democrat story: "you better believe some tweeker has come up with a way to smoke some methamphetamine liquid hybrid dope from one of these things." An internet search finds that yes, naturally there is interest in smoking meth out of e-cigarettes, not by tweakers but by users interested in partaking away from home. The discussion of that possibility in one forum suggests it could be possible, and also includes plenty of advice to keep "use as discrete as possible" when away from home because of the propensity of the media to jump on stories where drug users can be portrayed negatively. It's a war on drugs, indeed
Related: Reason TV talks to neuroscientist Carl Hart on what an adult conversation on drug use would have to include: