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What’s more dangerous than marijuana? Clothes dryers

According to a story on Denver’s 7News, “a recent report from the U.S. Fire Administration estimates there are 2,900 clothes dryer fires every year, causing five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss.” Apparently, we consider that an acceptable risk to the community because we haven’t banned dryers yet. But if we did, just imagine the appliance black market that would spring up over night.

We have all sorts of appliances and do all sorts of activities that we know pose a safety risk. Barbecue grills. Chain saws. Prescription drugs. Firearms. Toxic cleaning chemicals.

To put this into context, the National Fire Protection Association reports that frying poses the greatest risk for cooking fires and Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. But come November, I’m quite certain that I’ll have no problem finding turkey fryers at my local hardware or discount store.

When it comes to anything to do with marijuana at home, however — whether that’s personal use, cultivation, or manufacture — the slightest infraction elicits cries of “public safety” and “the children” as the media fans the flames of fear about the dangers of marijuana in the neighborhood. Suddenly we think we have a right to know everything our neighbor is doing because it just might pose a danger to my family or, more often than not, I just won’t like it.

We know that dryers pose a safety risk. There are safety requirements for manufacturers, there are no requirements for owners to properly maintain their appliances. Though the risk may be small in comparison to other activities, it still puts the lives of innocent children living in homes with dyers in jeopardy.

So what if we started treating clothes dryers like the dangerous appliances, the threats to the public safety, they are? What if we treated them like marijuana?

First, we’d institute a ban on all drying of clothes in the home, thus immediately creating a black market for clothes dryers. Otherwise, you’d be required to take your clothes to a professional dryer with all the appropriate safety equipment and protocols in place.

Can’t afford a professional? Get a clothesline.

We might consider allowing you to dry your clothes at home, but you’d be required to secure permits and have regular inspections. The smell of dryer sheets or finding dryer lint in your home could be sufficient cause to initiate an investigation of child endangerment by Child Protective Services. Discovery of an unregulated black market dryer could be grounds for immediate removal of your children. You could lose your home, your job, your family and your freedom. Read more

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a 30 year old journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas and serves as Deputy Director for NORML of Waco. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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