For some reason, marijuana is still illegal in the state of Texas. Unfortunately, that means many of those wanting to vape marijuana resort to buying black market vape cartridges.

According to a press release from the United States Department of Justice, Christopher Andrew Reyes, 23, pleaded guilty to selling fake THC vape pens and cartridges from China.

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The sad thing is, if recreational marijuana use was legal, we really wouldn't be having this discussion. Reyes, again is only 23, which in essence is pretty much a kid still in my eyes. Reyes was most likely trying to make some extra cash and got in way too deep. He also endangered people's health though, as there are so many dangers to smoking unregulated cartridges. Now he's facing up to 3 years in federal prison.

In September 2019, U.S. Customs & Border Protection agents intercepted a shipment of 2,400 counterfeit THC vaping devices addressed to Reyes and bound for his home. The vaping devices were sent from China and routed through DFW International Airport. The cartridges that Reyes was selling were fakes of the popular brand Cookies.

“This defendant imported thousands of potentially dangerous black-market vaping devices,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “Given the alarming incidence of lung injuries stemming from unregulated THC vapes, we knew could not allow any more of these devices onto our streets.”

“The distribution of these black-market vaping devices is not only illegal, but could prove lethal to those who consume vape materials purchased from unregulated sources, said Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas. “These illicit items are a significant health threat in our communities and should not be available in the open market.”

Reyes purchased the fake cartridges online from Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba (an online retailer similar to Amazon.)

For very obvious reasons, you should not purchase unregulated cartridges. Just stick to the real stuff that can only be found in states that have legalized marijuana use, AKA not Texas!

If you want to see real change in the marijuana movement, then talk to your local officials, support bills seeking to end the war on drugs, and vote in your local and state elections! Progress can be made, but we have to be the change we wish to see.

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