Marijuana Abuse is More Dangerous Then We Thought
The legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic button as of late. While marijuana remains illegal under federal law; four U.S. states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska) have decriminalized the recreational use of the drug. The problem is that marijuana abuse is becoming more dangerous then we had previously thought. Many think back to the days of the 60’s where recreational use seemed like harmless fun. Today, in search of a more robust high, users have started smoking butane hash oil. Butane hash oil is produced by mixing butane and marijuana into a potent paste. It is then cooked and the oil is extracted. It is then added to an e-cigarette for ingestion.
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (the active ingredient in marijuana that causes hallucinations) is boosted from 20 percent that is normally found in marijuana (and is considered legal) to 80 percent. The problems with butane hash oil production are two fold. Marijuana abuse is becoming more prevalent because the high is more potent than before and the amounts of THC are harder to control. Smoking it in this way is far stronger than any marijuana that was smoked in the sixties.
The second problem is the injuries sustained while trying to extract the THC oil. Butane is highly explosive and volatile and there have been increases in those burned by the oil and explosions caused by butane hash oil production. 17 cases of burns related to butane hash oil production were reported in 2014 (as opposed to 11 cases in 2013) in the state of Colorado alone. Marijuana abuse has also increased because the market has been flooded with other products containing the extracted oils. Infused candies and baked goods have caused an increase in children being exposed to marijuana oil. In the state of Colorado 14 children between ages 3 to 7 were sent for medical treatment for accidentally ingesting marijuana products.
Supporters of marijuana legalization state that coming to any conclusions based on only a years worth of data is biased and impulsive. If the numbers can predict the future, then it will only be a matter of time before these numbers increase. As more states fight to legalize marijuana one can ascertain that these same issues will arise in every state that makes it legal. Stricter laws and control are imperative in order to provide some safety and stability to those who choose to imbibe in recreational marijuana usage.
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