“We have a little problem here with people blowing themselves up,” Washington state Sen. Ann Rivers recently told KOMONews. “Anything we can do to stop that from happening.” Rivers is the republican sponsor of a bill that would modify existing laws regarding extraction in the state.
If the legislation is passed, extraction would be allowed in homes as long as only non-explosive solvents are used. Currently, even cooking weed into vegetable oil is considered a felony in the state. The same bill would also permit blasting with butane and other flammable solvents, given that they were performed by commercial producers.
Colorado is similarly trying to refines its concentrate manufacturing laws. 30 people in the state were reported injured in butane hash explosions in 2013, as reported by Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area officials. The new Colorado legislation, up for a vote in the House committee this week, would distinguish between blasting with flammable and non-flammable solvents like the Washington bill, but would also ban butane extraction.
“People who make it at home, they can do so with alcohol or methods that are safe,” says bill sponsor and Colorado state Rep. Yeulin Willett.
Colorado law is currently supportive of extraction. The state’s legalization law explicitly includes concentrate and all kinds of production. “It’s a patient’s right to make their medicine,” says the Southern Colorado Cannabis Council Jason Warf.
Marijuana activists are making the case that home extraction should be legal, and that the real cause of the problem is a lack of public education. “Sure, there have been numerous dangerous explosions and fires from idiots who are determined to blow themselves up participating in activities which need considerable safety precautions,” says Timothy Tipton of the Rocky Mountain Caregivers Cooperative.