The mother of a 13-year-old boy made butane hash oil from marijuana in a Michigan hotel on May 17, 2017. The fire caused serious injuries to both Brian Adams and his brother. As Michigan voters consider the legalization of marijuana, they need to evaluate how they will pay for these tragedies that occur regularly on the west coast.
Last summer, a 19-year-old teen from Michigan died from his burns in a butane hash oil explosion. Two others were seriously injured, and the explosion scared the neighbors in Redford Township.
In California, one man died and two others suffered extensive burns in an explosion on the first day of legalization, November 9, 2016. While most people survive BHO fires, the injuries are extensive and treating the burns costs well over $1 million per victim. One explosion in Sacramento displaced 140 people. BHO explosions are as dangerous as terrorist attacks, and they also tax the public resources.
Fortunately, Brian Adams of survived the hotel fire in Minton, Michigan, even with burns on 90% of his body. Brian had be airlifted to Boston for treatment, and his mother is now in jail. In December, he came home to a welcoming crowd in Michigan. The miracles of modern emergency medicine made his survival possible.
During one weekend in January, two BHO explosions occurred in Michigan. Michigan has had “medical” marijuana since 2008, and is the leading state for BHO explosions east of the Mississippi River. Fortunately, Healthy and Productive Michigan will fight legalization by educating the public about such dangers.
California Leads in Death from BHO fires
From 2011 to 2015, 42 people died in California’s BHO fires. Sue Webber-Brown of California Alliance of Drug-Endangered Children was keeping track of these deaths in the past. However, she is no longer tabulating and keeping track of these deaths at this time.
Last year three died in hash oil explosions in Oregon. The Legacy Oregon Burn Center treated 45 butane blast patients between 2014 and August, 2017.
In Washington, at least 2 people died from BHO explosions, one in Spokane and one in Bellevue.
In Colorado, a two-month-old baby died. He slept in the room adjacent to the BHO laboratory. It seems that the very young and very old are most vulnerable to the breathing difficulties brought on by the fumes of butane gas.
Michigan voters must realize the true social costs of legalization. Even if legalization could pay for itself, the social costs would not make it worth it.