LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4)– Some believe that legalized pot is resulting in some unwanted consequences like Thursday’s home explosion in Longmont that happened when police said three men were trying to make hash.
Police said three men were spraying butane into a jar of marijuana to make hash oil when it exploded.
One man suffered burns to his hands and face when butane vapors ignited in his garage which caused an explosion that blew out windows and brought neighbors running.
911 Call: “Their garage just blew up and I heard, ‘Everyone, you don’t call the cops.’ Their garage is on fire.”
“Very loud, it was a loud explosion, and then some glass and then some yelling,” said neighbor Dan Krauss. “And I was very concerned that someone might be on fire.”
Jim Gerhardt with the Colorado Drug Investigators Association believes Colorado’s laws are part of the problem.
“We’re having multiple incidents in one single year. This is the consequence of legalizing this substance,” said Gerhardt.
Marijuana advocate and attorney Christian Sederberg disagrees that incidents like what happened in Longmont are a side effect of Amendment 64, although he does recognize the concern and helped draft a law for public safety.
“The law basically says the local government may ban the production of hash using any compressed flammable gases in a residential setting,” said Sederberg.
Gerhardt doesn’t think that’s enough, “It’s not going to be a very effective deterrent because a municipality can only enact a law that’s a misdemeanor.”
Police said the men were using butane to extract hash oil from marijuana. The oil is pure THC, the active ingredient in pot. It’s potent and explosive and sells for up to $100 a gram.
The men face charges of conspiracy and arson.
“They put potentially the neighbors at risk of their homes burning down,” said Satur. “No drug charges, right now it’s just arson because marijuana is legal.”