BHO Labs are a By-Product of Increased Access to the Drug
On November 9, 2016, in California, three men in Humboldt County celebrated their marijuana freedom by extracting BHO from marijuana. On the first day pot was 100% legal in California, their actions sparked a fire. Helicopters airlifted the injured men to UC Davis Hospital because their burns were so extensive.
BHO or butane hash oil, which Californians call “honey oil” is a highly potent extract of the marijuana plant. Using highly flammable butane, amateurs extract the oil which can produce the strongest, most immediate high. Pot advocates claim that dangerous BHO fires are a by-product of “prohibition,” but they didn’t start happening until 2011, a good 15 years after so-called “medical” marijuana was legalized in 1996 by California. In 2009, medical marijuana dispensaries proliferated, and in 2010, the first BHO lab was discovered. By 2011, 8 illegal BHO labs were discovered, 3 of which exploded. In 2012, authorities uncovered 20 BHO labs, 16 of which had fires. In 2013, authorities found 68 BHO labs and 38 of them went up in flames. Nine people died from these BHO Labs in California that year.
In Washington, marijuana was legal — but not yet commercial – in 2013. A huge blast rocked an apartment complex in Bellevue. The BHO fire sparked huge flames and completely damaged two 12-unit apartment buildings. One hundred fire fighters and police spent 7 hours putting out the flames, in November, 2013. Neighbors jumped from the 2nd and 3rd floors. One elderly woman died from an injury sustained while fleeing from the fire.
The state did not take action, federal authorities needed to step in and establish that operating hash oil labs constituted reckless endangerment to human life. (Those responsible for the Bellevue fire and others convicted.) Today, both California and Colorado have laws making BHO manufacture in a residential setting a felony.
Worst Year for Fire and Death in 2014
In 2014, 32 people died in California from these explosions. In 2011, there were 5 explosions from butane extractions in California. The illegal practice grew until 2014, when 232 hash oil labs were discovered in California and 102 of them exploded. The state legislature then passed a law making the illegal manufacture of marijuana into hash oil a felony. If operating near a school or home with children, these crimes are now considered “aggravated felonies.”
In 2015, there were at least five hash oil fires in Butte and Shasta Counties. Seven children and five adults were at home during one of these fires. In another huge fire in Redding in 2015, residents of 12 units were evacuated as a result of the massive explosion.
The fire near Seattle’s SeaTac airport last March 21st occurred in a house next door to a day care center. No children were there at the time, but it was a close call.
In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown signed a law in 2016 making unlicensed production of marijuana extracts a felony. The bill was intended to target homemade butane hash oil setups. However, the fires are still taking place.
People who smoke pot may envy the power of the marijuana growers in the Emerald Triangle. Marijuana controls the economy in Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino Counties of Northern California. Shasta County also has a huge marijuana industry, often hidden in its dense forests. Sometimes the police forces and local governments buy into the trade. But for residents who don’t use pot or drink or use other drugs, the growers and dealers are a major threat to safety and security.
The state legislature is afraid to put teeth in any legislation to control the marijuana growers, and right now the Federal Government is providing no funds to go after medical marijuana providers, although so many of these providers cross the line into drug dealing (most of the medical marijuana industry in California).
In addition to hash oil explosions, there are many home invasions such as the one that happened on the night of February 28, 2016 in Weitchpec. Welcome to the world of marijuana.
“Victims told deputies at about 9:30 p.m. three males, one armed with a pistol and two with shotguns, entered their residence. The suspects were wearing jackets with Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office emblems. The suspects tied up the victims with zip ties and the suspects demanded marijuana, cash, and guns. The three suspects stole cash and a 2014 white Toyota Tundra pick-up truck prior to leaving the scene.”
“There were 1,298 violent crimes in the Redding metro area in 2012, up from 851 violent crimes in 2007. On a standardized, per 100,000 resident basis, violent crime rose more than 53% in that time. Additionally, property crimes rose by more than 50%, the most of any metro area reviewed, despite a nationwide 12.7% decline in such crimes during that time. According to the Redding Record Searchlight, some area residents believe that the area’s high crime rates may be related to marijuana cultivation. Officials in Shasta County — which makes up the Redding metro area — recently elected to ban outdoor growing, although the city of Redding is not included in the ban.”
The Emerald Triangle provides insight into what will happen if the marijuana groups get to control of California and the rest of the United States and Canada.
SAFE AND DRUG FREE COMMUNITY ACT COMPARED TO NEWSOM’S MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION INITIATIVE
Since Prop 215 (The Compassionate Use Act) was enacted in 1996, California has devolved into de facto legalization. Over 50,000 cultivation sites grow marijuana under the guise of medicine, then illegally sell it to 60% of the United States market for recreational use. In the meantime, massive quantities of our precious water is being used for marijuana cultivation, resulting in destruction of our natural resources and ruining the quality of life in once fine communities.
Currently, a whopping 19.5% of the California budget is directed towards dealing with issues related to substance abuse. However, surprisingly only 1% of this 19.5% is spent on prevention. Most of it is used for shoveling up the damage and treating the wounded, horrible economic policy. Furthermore, out of the 129 Americans who die every day of drug overdose, almost all started their drug journey with marijuana, and 59% of people arrested (Sacramento) test positive for marijuana.
Against this background, two contrasting ballot initiatives will be introduced to the California voters in the 2016 elections: The Safe and Drug-Free Community Act and Newsom’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The former seeks to prevent our California communities from transforming into drug production and consumption havens, and preserve our natural resources for our future generations; the latter seeks to make marijuana, universally known as the “gateway drug” widely available, without considering the social, economic and environmental cost of the drug.
SAFE AND DRUG-FREE COMMUNITY ACT
The Safe and Drug-Free Community Act which which seeks to prevent marijuana use will save lives, cut crime, improve academic achievement, save taxpayers billions of dollars and help regain and retain all that made California and this nation great.
The Safe and Drug-Free Community Act addresses the marijuana related issues faced by California communities as follows:
Keeps marijuana illegal. Today’s high potency marijuana is known to cause brain damage, mental illness, psychotic breaks, suicidal depression, harms to a fetus, and increased traffic deaths.
Would prevent privately owned cultivation sites which are destroying our natural resources, sucking up mass quantities of water (6 gallons/day/plan) and causing irreparable ecological damage.One cultivation site will remain, owned and controlled by the government to fulfill the intent of Prop 215.
Privately owned dispensaries will be banned to stop the enormous abuse that has and continues to take place. State owned dispensaries will be allowed where local communities choose to allow them and “medical marijuana” will be more tightly controlled with lab testing, packaging, potency and consists.
The legal age of “medical marijuana” will be raised from 18 to 21. The American Society of Addictive Medicine recommends no one under age 25 use marijuana based on scientific evidence that the human brain isn’t fully developed until then.Ages 18, 19 and 20 are critical years for brain development, and at least closer to brain maturity, where the vulnerability to harm is far less.
Imposes strict standards on doctors who recommend marijuana, something currently lacking.
Requires dispensaries to report marijuana as part of CURES Act so pharmacists can safe guard against adverse interactions with conflicting medicines that could cause harm.
Sets a standard for marijuana impaired driving.Currently 12.6% of drivers (one-in-eight) are driving impaired to some degree by marijuana.Traffic deaths owing to marijuana have doubled in California.Stoned drivers are even killing people on sidewalks.
Mandates a statewide educational program for parents, teachers, students and the general public so people can make an informed decision about using marijuana, allowing their children to use it, or what and whom to vote for.
NEWSOM’S ADULT USE OF MARIJUANA ACT THREATENS OUR FUTURE
As with Prop 215, this ballot initiative is once again financed by drug money that flows from and through out-of-state billionaires who are putting millions into their campaign to persuade California citizens to overlook the harmful effects of the drug. New York billionaire Sean Parker has been recruited to augment money that will flow from George Soros and the DPA. Despite openly stating that he doesn’t want marijuana near his own children, Lt Governor Gavin Newsom, is leading the legalization effort full force. Their stated benefits of legalization and arguments for it are frankly an affront to one’s intellect:
They Say It Will Protect Our Kids – They want to tax and regulate marijuana so we have money to teach our kids not to use it.Brilliant!Expanding the availability and access will increase adolescent use as it has in Colorado, Washington and all places in the world where it has been decriminalized.
They Say It Is For Adult Use Only – Today’s highly potent pot can cause permanent physical and chemical changes in the brains of anyone under 25 years old.Marijuana use peaks at age 20 and tapers off rather rapidly after age 25, so the focus from a marketing standpoint is on young people, just like Big Tobacco. Governor Brown has stated, “…How many people can be stoned and still enable us to have a great state and nation?”Actually it’s worse than just getting stoned. Diminished intellect, mental illness, psychotic breaks, depression, suicidal tendencies and addiction are life-long chronic conditions. You can’t just sleep it off.
They Say It Can Be Regulated– If the government was capable of, or cared about regulation, God knows they would have demonstrated it by now. California has over 50,000 mostly illegal cultivation sites producing pot under the guise of medicine, then illegally selling to 60% of the US market. In the meantime, the pot plantations are inflicting irreparable harm on our precious ecosystems.
They Say It Will Benefit The State Economically – The social costs of marijuana, like alcohol and tobacco, are 10 times greater than tax revenues. Expanding the use of marijuana for the sake of the 8% who want to get high, or make money on those who do, will cost the other 92% more. Nor will the black market go away. Cartels don’t pay taxes so they have a price advantage.
They Say They Want Local Government Control – Over 83% of California communities currently have bans or moratoriums on marijuana because they don’t want this junk in their communities. Under the Newsom initiative local communities would lose that control unless the people, through a ballot initiative, decide they don’t want it. How’s that for “slipping it to you?”
It Would Retain “Medical Marijuana” – The existing program which allows anyone over 18, for any purported illness, to access all of the pot they want for personal consumption or to sell, doesn’t go away. We already have de facto legalization, producing more pot than Californians can consume.
Marijuana is a dangerous drug, with proven ability to destroy the brains of our youth, inflict irreparable harm on our natural resources and pose a public health and safety problem for everyone.Anyone that aspires to be Governor of this fine state needs to demonstrate that protecting people, the planet and our tax dollars are of higher priority than pandering for drug money for his or her personal campaign.
In the interest of public safety and environmental protection, just defeating full legalization isn’t adequate.We need to roll back what exists.