Hashing out the details

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SHUTTERSTOCK/DOUG SHUTTER
  • SHUTTERSTOCK/DOUG SHUTTER

This whole legal marijuana thing was always going to have a few speed bumps. Most of them could have been foreseen when Amendment 64 was voted into law, like dealing with marijuana money or standardizing edibles and concentrates.

But who saw explosions and house fires coming?

As we reported on July 30 in the story Hash oil explosions on the rise, making hash oil at home using butane can cause fires and explosions. In a recent interview, Attorney General John Suthers said there were around 26 explosions statewide in 2014. No surprise — butane is lighter fluid, and it will burn as cold as -72 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a cloud of trouble just waiting for a spark to set things off.

And Suthers is having none of it. His office put out a press release on Dec. 30 stating hash oil extractions are banned under amendment 64.

The press release quotes Suthers as saying "The Blue Book made it clear that Amendment 64 allowed for the responsible and safe use of marijuana, so to decriminalize dangerous and unreasonable behavior in which people are getting hurt and houses are blowing up, defies the intent of the voters.”

Suthers' statement is part of an eight-page legal brief he filed as part of the trial against Eugene Christenson of Mesa County. Prosecutors claim he caused an explosion by making hash oil. Christenson's defense says hash oil, like any other concentrate, is protected by Amendment 64. Suthers notes Amendment 64's definition of marijuana allows concentrates but bans oil by name. 

At least now it's on record you can't risk blowing up your house without a license.

The full press release and the full legal brief are below the jump.

COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS AMENDMENT 64 DOES NOT AUTHORIZE EXTRACTION OF BUTANE HASH OIL

DENVER—T he Colorado Attorney General’s Office has the obligation to defend Colorado law. In execution of that responsibility, the office will respond to certain district court cases regarding whether Amendment 64 allows for an individual to extract marijuana oil. Earlier this month, the office filed a brief in Mesa County and today will file a brief in Denver District Court regarding this matter.

The following statement is to be attributed to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers:

“Amendment 64 expressly prohibits an individual from making marijuana oil and unfortunately, Colorado is experiencing a real public safety issue as a result of unsafe and unlicensed manufacturing and production. The Blue Book made it clear that Amendment 64 allowed for the responsible and safe use of marijuana, so to decriminalize dangerous and unreasonable behavior in which people are getting hurt and houses are blowing up,
defies the intent of the voters.” 
The full brief can be read here:  ATTORNEY GENERAL’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO DECLARE § 18-18-406(2)(a)(I), C.R.S. (2014) UNCONSTITUITIONAL

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