Another Amateur Chemist Destroys the Kitchen
HOME HASH OIL PRODUCTION IS seemingly gaining ground on in-house meth labs as the remodeling method of choice for home druggies. The stovetop cookery is blowing out walls and breaking leases with more regularity lately.
Vancouver, Washington, firefighters were dispatched to a house around 7:30 Sunday evening for a reported explosion. When they arrived on the scene they found light smoke, but no fire and nobody. They later learned that the male resident had been spirited away by a friend to the hospital with facial burns.
Clark County Sheriff photo
A pile of ash and scattered debris in the kitchen added to the suspicion of something not right in River City and the police dept. was called in.
Officers from the Vancouver Police Department investigated and found evidence of possible drug manufacturing. They then contacted the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force to investigate.
Drug detectives served a search warrant late Sunday and located a large amount of processed marijuana, several butane cans and several smoking devices, police said.
While marijuana buds contain between 15 and 20 percent THC (the ingredient that causes the high), hash oil contains 80 to 90 percent THC, said Clark County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Mike Cooke, who oversees the drug task force. The process of refining the drug involves using butane to extract THC from the marijuana, and then boiling off the butane — leaving behind the more viscous, potent form of the drug.
That substance is then smoked by “dabbing,” or using a metal prong to dab the thick oil onto a pipe.
Cooke calls the process of making the drug “highly explosive,” but he isn’t sure it’s illegal.
“Since marijuana is now legal under state law, having it explode in your face when you’re converting it would be no different than me accidentally squirting too much lighter fluid onto a pile of burning barbecue charcoal,” he said. “It’s a stupid thing to do, but it’s not illegal.”
The burn boy was not arrested, but the report has been forwarded to the prosecutor for possible indictment.
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