Marijuana concentrates are gaining popularity in the state of Colorado. There are many different ways to produce cannabis concentrates, but at least one way can be very dangerous. Using a flammable solvent like butane to make hash oil has resulted in 26 felony charges in the state of Colorado in 2014. All of which involved a person blowing up a home, car, building or something else while making butane hash oil.
The at home way to produce butane hash oil usually starts with loading a pipe with cannabis flowers, leaves or trimmings. Next a person will release butane into the pipe, which extracts the THC and other cannabinoids into the liquid that drips out the other end. The liquid is then heated before it is left to slightly solidify. Butane is a flammable gas, and the fumes being released into the room in which the extraction is taking place is very dangerous because any little spark could result in an explosion.
District Attorneys throughout the state have taken different stances on the issue of homemade butane hash oil, and now the Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers, has released his opinion on the issue. In a statement released by the office of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, he explains why he feels it is illegal,
“Amendment 64 expressly prohibits an individual from making marijuana oil and unfortunately, Colorado is experiencing a real public safety issue as a result of unsafe and unlicensed manufacturing and production. The Blue Book made it clear that Amendment 64 allowed for the responsible and safe use of marijuana, so to decriminalize dangerous and unreasonable behavior in which people are getting hurt and houses are blowing up, defies the intent of voters.”
This released statement came after Attorney General Suthers wrote a brief on the case of Eugene Christensen. Christensen is currently being charged with arson, reckless endangerment and manufacturing cannabis concentrate after he caused an explosion while making butane hash oil. He is facing up to 4 years in prison, and his defense is that marijuana concentrates are covered under Amendment 64, as it allows for the “processing” of cannabis plants.
Attorney General Suthers disagrees. According to him, anything classified as “oil” is exempt from the definition of marijuana in Amendment 64. This is because in the Amendment, part of the definition of marijuana reads that it does not include oil.
One of the Amendment co-authors, Christian Sederberg, told the Denver Post that he agrees that making butane hash oil at home is dangerous. However, the way that the attorney general is using the definition of marijuana could lead to even hash oil possession being illegal.