Good Question: Is that weed in that e-cigarette?

November 12, 2018 07:14 AM

As you may know, marijuana could become legal in New York state soon. Lawmakers are expected to take up the issue in the next legislative session that starts in January. All week on News10NBC, we're taking a look at what this could mean for our state.

Today, you probably know you can smoke marijuana, but what about vaping pot? How can you tell if someone, like your child, is just vaping nicotine or vaping pot?


Pat Taney looked into that for this week's Good Question report.

Since they hit the market, electronic cigarettes have seen a rise in teen use. 

Now, many teens are getting their hands on marijuana cartridges to get high.

"Vaporizing is heating of the marijuana either as an oil or dry herb version," Dr. Fatma Akmese from Rochester Regional Health said. "Vaping is considered to be healthier but we don't have long-term evidence on that.

But when it comes to vaping weed at a young age, Dr. Akmese says the evidence is clear.

"Any sort of marijuana use in teenage years can impact development."

Marijuana e-cigs are already here in New York for medical purposes, which is legal.

If New York legalizes recreational pot use, age restrictions will no doubt be part of the discussion. So how will parents and schools deal with an odorless, hard to detect device?

We look to Colorado.

Schools there are using new marijuana test kits which can swab to detect THC, not only in vape pens but baked goods like brownies, gummie bears and cookies -- all legally sold right now in Colorado.

No word if schools here will get these test kits if recreational marijuana is legalized but Dr. Akmese is not sure it's the best way to deal with it.

"That may not be as productive," Dr. Akmese. "I think we need to engage the adolescents and be very clear that the evidence now shows that any kind of marijuana use in adolescents really impacts their development for the rest of their lives so it's really not harmless.

The best way for parents to know if their child is using marijuana e-cigs is to look for signs that may indicate pot use like a change in grades, sluggishness, and an increased appetite.

If you have a question you'd like answered, send Pat an email to


Pat Taney

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