Ah, Muha Meds! The black market vape cartridge brand which fought back against the law! The ALREADY BUSTED brand, I might add, which means that there are doubtless mug shots of the perpetrators out there. And if we can help it, we might soon add some updated mugshots of the perps. Let’s examine the story so far, recapped with as much brevity as possible…
Originally, we reported on Muha Meds way back in May of 2020. At the time, they were one brand out of a sea of fake brands being sold as empty cartridges to be filled with mystery oil. Since then, we have received numerous communications from the brand’s claimed owners, demanding that we take down our factually reported and verified information about this brand.
We’ll save the evidence for the courtroom (screenshots of emails would need names etc. redacted), but so far we’re at several emails and counting, with claims that we (DabConnection), having reviewed the brand name Muha Meds and found it lacking in legal compliance, have irreparably harmed the brand’s reputation (in their own words: “defamation, fraudulent claims, Blackmail, Bribery and Extortion”). In addition, there’s a smear campaign which somebody associated with Muha Meds has been making against us on Instagram, Reddit, and other social media channels.
Inevitably, we have relayed many communications from this party in the past. You’ll find the whole saga at the “Muha Meds” tag now.
This is but one of many legal policies the Federal Trade Commission aims at protecting consumers against corporations that would manipulate consumer opinion dishonestly. To quote the Consumer Review Fairness Act’s “need to know” page:
“The law protects a broad variety of honest consumer assessments, including online reviews, social media posts, uploaded photos, videos, etc. And it doesn’t just cover product reviews. It also applies to consumer evaluations of a company’s customer service.”
This law applies pretty broadly to protect consumers against retaliation from companies for negative reviews.
In addition, our website of course operates under protection from the good ol’ First Amendment.
Common sense sidebar: Seriously, how many consumer review websites are out there? Yelp, Angie’s List, the BBB, the list goes on forever. Websites like IMBD and Goodreads build their whole business model off consumers sharing their reviews of media. Would all of these reviewers and websites be hosting this content if it were possible for a company to simply silence their critics? What if every film director hired mafia goons to strongarm us out of negative movie reviews over at 366WeirdMovies? How would Yelp and Angie’s stay in business? What would be the point of having any opinion at all? The First Amendment exists for a very good reason, albeit the Muha Meds people seem not to appreciate the spirit of that amendment.
But that’s not all:
“SLAPP” is an acronym expanding to “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.” In this dandy guide to anti-SLAPP laws, we learn:
“These damaging suits chill free speech and healthy debate by targeting those who communicate with their government or speak out on issues of public interest.”
“SLAPPs are used to silence and harass critics by forcing them to spend money to defend these baseless suits. SLAPP filers don’t go to court to seek justice. Rather, SLAPPS are intended to intimidate those who disagree with them or their activities by draining the target’s financial resources.”
And so states have passed anti-SLAPP laws designed to curtail against this exact scenario. “Anti-SLAPP is intended to prevent people or businesses from silencing or censoring their critics by intimidating them with the threat of a lawsuit.”
As legal experts are quick to point out, First Amendment and other protections do not apply in case of libel / slander / defamation. However, in order for those claims to carry weight, the following points must be proven in court:
So condition #1 lets us off, right off the bat! We detail this in our content policy.
Here again is every observation we have ever made about Muha Meds:
Muha Meds was raided by the California BCC in Los Angeles, in March of 2021.
Fake Muha Meds packaging is distributed broadly by fake cartridge packaging retailers; many websites and online plugs sell these products while claiming to be the “real” Muha Meds.
Someone associated with the Muha Meds brand is reported to have attempted to retaliate against the publication of lab tests results showing their cartridges fail health standards.
People have reportedly suffered injuries after vaping a Muha Meds cartridge. (NOTE we do not claim that the particular cartridge must have come from the “official” source)
In addition, we have also mentioned that a claimed Muha Meds license has emerged in Michigan. We have also just recently learned that a second license for a Muha Meds brand now exists in California. And now we’re caught up.
Here’s the most important take-away: Actions speak much louder than words. Had the people who claim responsibility for this “brand” simply moved on, there would be exactly one Muha Meds story on our website. In fact, other websites and social media users have reported on Muha Meds activities and been harassed for it as well.
Is the action of a reputable company? Were Muha Meds the only brand on Earth, they’d be suspect in the eyes of the average consumer. But as it is the case that there are thousands of legitimate, licensed brands which have NOT been busted by the BCC, which have NOT been caught trying to bury lab test results, which have NOT maintained a harassment and intimidation campaign against this website. So why not chose one of them instead?
In a counterpoint, we have also discussed Big Chief brand. Big Chief was another black market brand which struggled to fly right, but did eventually get their regulation in order. The only difference between Big Chief and Miha Meds is that we barely ever heard a PEEP out of anyone associated with the Big Chief brand. So we’ve laid off them, because they graciously dropped off the fake cartridge scene radar. See how easy that is?
Muha Meds: Their actions not only represent an illegal and dastardly campaign of online intimidation against anyone who dares speak the truth about them, but a major failure of public trust. The more they threaten us, the more we’re going to report on them. This is a demonstration of the Streisand Effect.
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