Some amateur hash oil manufacturers could face felony charges

Coloradans who use hazardous materials to extract hash oil now face up to 16 years in jail under a new law.

Recent law prohibits the use of butane during at-home extraction of hash oil

Amateur hash oil manufacturers will have to abide by tough new rules that recently went into effect or else risk facing serious prison time, according to KOAA 5 News. Beginning in July, a new drug law went into effect in Colorado that prohibits the use of explosive substances, such as butane, during the extraction of hash oil. The law was passed as a result of dozens of explosions in the state last year that were suspected to have been caused by butane during marijuana oil extraction. The law will apply to amateur cooks only and not to licensed manufacturers.

Hazardous chemicals

Butane provides for the easiest and quickest way of extracting oil from the marijuana plant. Butane, however, is a highly volatile substance that can result in dangerous explosions. In Colorado last year, for example, 17 people were injured in explosions related to hash oil extraction, many of them caused by suspected butane explosions.

Legal background

Under Amendment 64 of the state constitution, Coloradans are guaranteed the right to extract hash oil. Up until recently, that constitutional guarantee has made it difficult for prosecutors to charge amateur hash oil manufacturers with a criminal offense. In many cases, amateur cooks were charged with arson or handling hazardous substances, and often only after an explosion took place. If property was damaged then some people were facing criminal mischief charges, while others were facing child abuse charges if a minor was in the area during an explosion.

New law

From July 1 of this year, however, amateur cooks who use hazardous materials to extract hash oil could be charged with a class two felony offense, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Specifically, the new law bans the use of compressed gas or flammable liquid chemicals during the manufacture of hash oil. Those charged and convicted under the new law could face sentences of up to 16 years in prison. The law does not apply to professional manufacturers nor does it prohibit alternative forms of hash oil extraction, such as those that use alcohol or water.

Legal defense

While marijuana may be legal in Colorado, as the above article shows there are still cases where Coloradans could face serious charges related to the use and manufacture of marijuana. With the legal landscape constantly shifting, it is important for anybody who has been charged with a drug offense to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney immediately. A drug charge should never be treated lightly and an experienced attorney can help those who have been accused of a drug crime both understand and maintain their rights and freedoms.

United States v. Brian Gall



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