DENVER, Colo.—June 5, 2018 — The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and other leading public health organizations are thankful and relieved that Governor John Hickenlooper vetoed House Bill 1258 on Monday, June 4. This legislation would have created licensed marijuana consumption establishments, or tasting rooms, for people to sample marijuana with electronic smoking devices, exposing people to secondhand marijuana smoke and e-cigarette aerosol and significantly eroding the public health protections in Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act.
R.J. Ours, ACS CAN Colorado government relations director, released the following statement:
"We are grateful to Governor Hickenlooper for his veto of this legislation that sought to compromise public health, put lives at risk and weaken Colorado’s smoke-free law. ACS CAN believes everyone has the right to breathe clean air free from secondhand cigarette smoke, marijuana smoke and aerosol from electronic smoking devices. Using these products in public undermines Colorado’s smoke-free law that protects people from harmful secondhand smoke exposure in most public places.
"While Colorado voters legalized the use of recreational marijuana, it is prohibited in a manner that endangers others. Smoking, including using marijuana through e-cigarettes, exposes people to potential health hazards in marijuana smoke. E-cigarette aerosol is also not harmless as it can contain many harmful chemicals including nicotine, heavy metals like lead and ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs.
"ACS CAN greatly appreciates that Governor Hickenlooper has prioritized the health of our residents and tourists by not allowing marijuana retailers to establish onsite tasting rooms. This bill would have violated the spirit of our smoke-free law and jeopardized all the progress Colorado has made to protect people from secondhand smoke and create tobacco-free environments."
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.