Monday’s Communities 4 Action annual meeting at UConn Stamford was attended by a wide cross section of health professionals, social services professionals, police and elected officials.
The group of about 200 learned about Vaping, a trend that has hit home in Greenwich with the recent arrest of the owner of Clouds Vapor Lounge.
On June 6, Greenwich Police Dept Narcotics unit, along with DEA task force officers, DEA agents, and the Stamford Police K-9 unit searched Clouds Vapor Lounge in Byram.
The search stemmed from an extensive investigation conducted by the Greenwich Police Narcotics unit, who received information that the owner of the establishment, Miguel Rivera, was known to be actively selling different forms and variations of liquid THC at the vapor lounge. Liquid THC is an extremely potent form of marijuana.
At Monday’s Communities 4 Action meeting, 18-year-old Rayon Meikle from DOMUS House in Stamford gave a tell-all about vaping, which he adamantly warned against.
Rayon showed the crowd of about 200 attendees examples of vaping devices, which he said are priced from $30 to $600. He said the battery alone costs $30.
“If your kid asks you for $200, he’s buying one,” he warned. “Say no.”
“Kids nowadays are using vape — I was one of those kids too,” he said. “You just put a dab on and smoke it,” he said.
Greenwich Police Officer Carlos Franco explained that a “dab” is a honey based marijuana that is made into a wax with a high THC level.
“They use the name ‘Pancake Man’ on the juice to trick kids into it,” Rayon continued, adding that the juice is not regulated that any 13-year old kid can walk into a corner store and purchase it.
“VG has a lot of chemicals, they don’t say what it really is. It can make your tongue turn black,” Rayon warned.
“Three months ago a friend of mine went in a store and bought juice that said it was VG (Vegetable Glycerin) but it wasn’t. Vegetable Glycerin is an odorless liquid that is combined with flavor and nicotine to create e-juice.
Rayon said his friend had to go to the hospital after his tongue turned black from vaping.
Rayon said that a “pinky press” is a vaping device that ignites with a push of the pinky finger. One of the examples he shared, a device that had been confiscate by police, still had skin burnt onto it.
“These vapes are not something you want to use. They can explode on you. My friend — his hand exploded. He didn’t know his fingers was on the button,” Rayon said.
“I recommend that VG should be illegal because it hurts a lot of people. They say it doesn’t effect people with asthma, but I see it affect a lot of people,” Rayon said. “I’ve seen so many things I’ve never saw before. I’m seeing middle school children coming out of school and vaping. They’re taking it to a whole new level. It’s going to be hard to stop.”
Rayon said teens are using YouTube as a how-to resource to make the juices at home in their basements.
“I’d say there’s a lot more people using vape than marijuana,” he added. He attributed the lure of vaping to teenagers to the desire to look cool. “It’s all because of rap music and the videos they see of vaping. If I go out on the street vaping, they see it looks cool so they want to do it.”
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