Cortes and Belize, who have been criminally charged with manufacturing hash oil, could not be located for comment. Their catastrophic attempt was the first documented BHO explosion in Florida.

In the past five months, New Hampshire and Illinois have legalized medical marijuana, joining 18 other states.

The incident highlights a problem that's spreading across the country. As BHO use has increased in the United States, so has the number of reckless manufacturers. Since January, at least a dozen explosions have been reported in California, Michigan, Oregon, and Oklahoma. In February, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued an alert about the dangers of BHO. "Butane is highly explosive, colorless, odorless, and heavier than air and therefore can travel along the floor until it encounters an ignition source," the warning declared. "Initial explosions can lead to secondary explosions and fires. In states with legalized use and availability of medical marijuana, these incidents appear to be increasing."

Amy Roderick, a spokesperson for the San Diego office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, says there have been six BHO explosions in the city since November 2012. One of the worst cases occurred this past January 30, when a 22-year-old lit a cigarette in a guest room at the Heritage Inn Sea World, where he was allegedly extracting hash oil. According to one witness, the building shook violently and then there was a loud explosion. The BHO cook was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Two other people in the room were also injured.

Roderick says the second-floor hotel room resembled a war zone. "The damage was pretty bad," she recounts. "The kitchen looked like someone threw a grenade in there."

The suspect survived and has been charged with manufacturing hash. Even though medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, the state's medical cannabis laws do not allow the manufacturing of hash oil. "It's considered much like a meth lab," Roderick says, "because they are using chemicals."

Frank Lyga, a Los Angeles Police Department detective, encountered his first BHO operation five years ago. "I went to a location where I found bags of cultivated marijuana that had been ground up," he says. "There were 1,000 butane cans in the backyard. The house was being used to manufacture honey oil."

Since then, Lyga has investigated 40 BHO labs, including 11 that have exploded. In one incident, a man was blasting inside the lavatory of a motel room. "The individual was using just one can of butane," Lyga says. "The door flew about 85 feet, and the windows blew out. He suffered severe burns on his face, hands, arms, and chest."

In another recent case, three people making hash oil became engulfed in flames from a spark. "Two have recovered and gone to rehab for burns on 90 percent of their bodies," Lyga says. "The third person is still in an induced coma."

In San Diego, DEA agents find BHO labs at 75 percent of the grow operations the agency shuts down."This is the new drug trend," Roderick says. "If someone is growing marijuana indoors or outdoors, we are finding they are also extracting hash oil."

Some people are just stupid, she adds. "In the Sea World case, you had a guy sitting in there extracting for four, five hours," Roderick says. "He had about 12 cases of butane in there. He told everyone at the scene he lit a cigarette."

Colorado hasn't experienced the volume of BHO explosions reported in other states because the practice is licensed like any other business. "We have to file manifests with the government, telling them how much trim we are receiving and how much is being processed into oil," de Sailles of Top Shelf Extracts says. "Everything is regulated here, which is why you don't have garages exploding out here."


When Lake Worth state Sen. Jeff Clemens and Plantation state Rep. Katie Edwards head back to Tallahassee in February for the 2014 legislative session, the duo plans to reignite a push to make Florida the 21st state to approve medical marijuana. Clemens and Edwards introduced the Cathy Jordan Medical Cannabis Act earlier this year, but it failed to even get a committee hearing. The measure is named for Jordan, a Melbourne resident who has been using marijuana to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of Lou Gehrig's disease for a quarter-century.

The Palm Beach and Broward legislators are undeterred. "We knew the bill was a long shot," Edwards says. "We recognized, however, that public sentiment about medicinal cannabis has changed dramatically."

Indeed, butane hash oil is gaining popularity at a time when Americans' opposition to marijuana has softened. In May, a Fox News poll found nine of ten registered voters believe marijuana should be legal if prescribed by a physician.

In the past five months, New Hampshire and Illinois have legalized medical marijuana, joining 18 other states and Washington, D.C.

In Florida, the advocacy group People United for Medical Marijuana recently released a poll that shows seven in ten Florida voters support a constitutional amendment legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes. The poll, conducted by Hamilton Campaigns, a firm used by Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, surveyed 600 registered voters between January 30 and February 3. An eye-popping 81 percent of respondents said doctors should be able to recommend marijuana to patients without fear of arrest or loss of license. Only 14 percent were opposed. Asked if marijuana should be regulated and taxed like alcohol and cigarettes, 68 percent said yes and 27 percent opposed the idea.

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My Voice Nation Help
36 comments
Mariah345
Mariah345

 <!--I quit working at shoprite and now I make $30h - $72h...how? I'm working online! My work didn't exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job..............Buzz55.com-->

TJohnson
TJohnson

What is happening now is with all these mom and pop Grow "Rooms"  and "closets"

a sucker might add anything to make it strong. Results for some of these additives

wont show up for years, after you thinking and memory is "F"ed Up. Trust me. 

TJohnson
TJohnson

I smoke this bull shit for 50 years.

It's no good in the long run and bad for children in the short run.

for_the_punx415
for_the_punx415

I smoked a lot of kilowatt kush wax with my gardener buddy in the mountains...I must have high tolerance because it never game me those crazy soaring highs or whatever

A_Critic
A_Critic

""They are risking their lives and their property not knowing what the hell they are doing.""

Why not tell them how to do it then?

Do NOT make BHO inside of any building, structure, or vehicle.

Do NOT make BHO in any urban or suburban environment or anywhere people.

Do NOT make BHO while wearing synthetics (can cause static charges which can ignite butane).

Do NOT make BHO while possessing any lighters, cell phones, matches, or other sources of ignition.

Pretty dang simple really. So far every explained explosion has been either 1) inside a building or 2) someone lights a cigarette.

Further:

DO purge, thoroughly and properly.

DO be careful in dosing BHO - a little dab will do you, and the rocketship high described at the start of this article is due to an excessively large dose. Great if that's what you want or need...but in all other cases a tiny dab is sufficient.

lenny14
lenny14

I was one of the people in the recent Florida poll. I like to think doctors know what they are doing, but I can't help but wonder, why is this illegal in the first place? Where does government come off with their tax on a weed. Sounds like, if they wanted, they could tax the air we breathe.

I don't care for the idea of impaired people driving on the road with me. Still, that has nothing to do with government regulations. It seems that a person smoking does much less harm than alcohol. It's just that a drunk will try to smoke, while smokers don't care about drinking. When people are smoking, and drinking, the booze is what makes them try crazy stuff. I it might add, that when polled, I did agree to medical use. I have never tried hash oil or BHO, but maybe once I evaluate it, I might think differently.

kerby.rok
kerby.rok

I love how many people jump on here to voice their ignorance. They based their views off of a movie called refer madness, and try to use it as hard facts. DO THE RESEARCH DO IT FOR REAL. I have and I can shot all you "refer madness crazies" down all day with cold hard facts. Email me the info you have of some one dying from marijuana ill wait...

teachintv
teachintv

It kind of makes me wonder how many people got injured or died turning corn into liquor, potatoes into vodka, poppy sap into opium...

arodomus
arodomus

So we are promoting drug use now huh? Wtf guys?

cq17ave
cq17ave

First the people making this are fucking stupid on the can it says flammable second you have to use refined. Butane..there is also healthier ways to make hash for example using the ice method and if you dont make bho the right way there many toxins that can fuck you up. Instead he should have shined some light on that not to buy that street shit. Francisco Alvarado should have spoke on what medical marijuana can do for the sick and the state and what laws might take place.not talk about all these idiots that dont know what they are doing or making a quick buck on a product that people dont know about and putting in there bodys. There was only one sentence about ligalization of medical marijuana obviously he did not research what he wrote about. What a dick and waste of a read

Steve Germond
Steve Germond

This stuff just became a felony in Michigan, carrying the same penalty as crack. Despite Michigan being a medical marijuana state.

Mikey Dee
Mikey Dee

dab city bitch dab dab city bitch

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Hmmmm, how to say this without offending anyone ? If you feel the need to try your hand at making this stuff, eventually legalized or not, don't do it around me or anyone I give a damn about. And that includes marketing it, selling it, using it and anything else you can think of. I want nothing to do with the criminal issues that this will eventually create. This also includes any addictions and financial shortcomings where one thinks they have to break and enter my home or car and rob me for their next fix. I'll be perfectly clear, I consider those that do make anything of this nature that ultimately hurts my position and quality of life as making my life that much more difficult than it has to be. I don't want to pay a penny more for insurance because another is under the influence of this crap and somehow a legislated act deems that I have some legal obligation to overcome their poor judgements and impairments. And bring another special needs aka retard into the world from genetic defects caused by this, I don't want to pay more for healthcare over that. Bad enough the human gene pool is polluted as it is that anyone would knowingly do this to themselves. And don't get on a soapbox preaching about alcohol & tobacco being worse. I don't want alcoholics around me either. I may lead a boring life, but I like it that way, there are enough challenges without handicapping one's self with this stupidity.

Samuel Solis
Samuel Solis

Colorado does it better than Cali...just sayin.

Leslie Hudler
Leslie Hudler

cuz its awesome strong as fuk but awesome- one time i broke out in a sweat!

Mike Montero
Mike Montero

Galactic's a pretty accurate description.

Sam Heywood
Sam Heywood

Butane treatment is not the future. It's the past.

James Robertson
James Robertson

Welcome to what California has been doing for years.

Alex Anico
Alex Anico

Please dont go home and try and make this...don't be a fucking idiot. The process is similar to cooking meth and it extremely volatile...

WishfulThinking
WishfulThinking

@lenny14 if you're driving in S. Florida (probably n. florida too but idk) you are already driving surrounded by impaired people. at any given time there are 5 drivers around you on oxycodone if you're driving in southeast florida.

kerby.rok
kerby.rok

Butane hash is the purist form and its safe if you follow directions. Do you store octane in your living room??

GeeBee
GeeBee

@James G. Camp The only criminal issues that arise due to drugs are prohibition: ask the 1930's about how that worked out with alcohol. Marijuana is not physically addictive so no addict is going to break into anything over it. Marijuana's price is also hyperinflated, like all prohibited recreational drugs, which is why addicts resort to robbing people in the first place. Heroin can be created for 12 cents a dose that now cost $20. Do you think people would be robbing people at gun point for 12 cents? Let's use a little logic here.

If some one is on prescription pain killers it's okay to pay a penny more for insurance? What makes marijuana, cocaine, heroin or anything else any different? As long as they weren't at the level of inebriation it should have no bearing.

None of the commonly used illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybe mushrooms ect) are teratogenic so you can assuage your fears about malformed "retard" babies. Well not entirely since the following legal drugs are teratogenic: 
alcohol (ethanol), isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid, Roaccutane), temazepam (Restoril; Normisson), nitrazepam (Mogadon), nimetazepam (Ermin), aminopterin or methotrexate, androgenic hormones, busulfan, captopril, enalapril, coumarin, cyclophosphamide, diethylstilbestrol, phenytoin (diphenylhydantoin, Dilantin, Epanutin), Dexamethasone, etretinate, lithium, methimazole, penicillamine, tetracyclines, thalidomide, trimethadione, methoxyethyl ethers, Flusilazole, valproic acid ect. and even possibly nicotine.

As an aside: I think the one polluting the human gene pool are vapid breeders such as yourself spreading your sub-genius IQ DNA like it was gold. This suffusion of low intelligence DNA is lowering world IQ, so please for the sake of the world stop breeding and stop any of your children if applicable. Have a nice day.

kerby.rok
kerby.rok

Ur an idiot and got no clue what ur talking about so the little old lady dabbing so she can remember her grand kids names is a criminal really so the Lil old man dabbing because he crushed his spin is a criminal??? Or better yet that vet that dabs cause he lost both legs and has PTSD to help cope is a criminal. Next time b4 u sound like a freakin retard do some research

kerby.rok
kerby.rok

So you've been cooking meth?? How do u know how to make meth? How do u know bho is like meth? Have you been blasting bho??

cq17ave
cq17ave

It is safe..if its made in a lab. By a prprofessional, not some kid in his backyard many think they know what they are doing. Those are the ones that make medical marijuana look bad.

arodomus
arodomus

Great job trying to rationalize drug use. What injury does the writer here have? Give me a freaking break.

kerby.rok
kerby.rok

Exactly if they sold cheap oil no one would be blowing shit up

arodomus
arodomus

Lol at get the sand out of your vagina. Though challenging, I managed to get through your post. I'm not attacking weed, that's another topic, I'm talking about this concentrated crap.

I don't drink caffeine by the way.

kerby.rok
kerby.rok

Marijuana isn't a drug. You are programmed to think that. It is as safe as breathing air. I can get cataracts, glaucoma, Alzheimer's, god knows how many cancers I can no longer get due to the fact I smoke weed. There for I see it as preventative medicine. That caffein you drink every day is more addicting and more dangerous. Do some research cause you just sound like an ignorant person. How is god wrong explane that to me???? Genisis 1:12 I have give you all the seed bearing plants and herbs to use... It cures chrons disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis. Oh whatch out now that dangerous I might not ever get any serous illness in my life... Meaning I might NEVER give big PHARMA a penny. No do u see why it's illegal. You probably take all kinds of pills and because the doctor gave them to you that a ok huh??? That's why every day they have comercials if you've experiences these symptoms call us so we can sue the shit out of some one. More people die every year from chocking on pen caps then marijuana. DO THE RESEARCH!!! NO ONE HAS EVER DIED FROM MARIJUANA. Marijuana has been used by man since 3000b.c. You lord witch ever one you believe in smoked weed because back then every one smoked weed. So get the sand out of you vagina.

 
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