People who make marijuana hash oil with hazardous materials at home will face felony charges in Colorado under new state laws taking effect Wednesday.
Licensed manufacturers of pot concentrates won’t be affected by the new law, but amateur cooks will be charged if they use materials like a flammable liquid chemical or compressed gas, both of which have been linked to explosions. More than 30 butane explosions were connected to hash production in 2014.
One of the sponsors of the law, Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Delta, said that one benefit of the legislation is that it will allow law enforcement to make arrests before there’s an explosion, rather than prosecuting cases after the fact. “Many jurisdictions felt that their hands were tied, and they could only respond after an accident,” he said.
It’s unknown how many of the explosions from last year resulted in prosecution on charges such as arson or criminal mischief. Amateur manufacturers of marijuana concentrates will now also face a Class 2 drug felony.
In all, 19 laws take effect Wednesday. Others include:
— New criminal charges for cyberbullying offenders, who will be subject to a misdemeanor harassment charge punishable by as much as $750 in fines and up to six months in county jail. Lawmakers named the law after Kiana Arellano, a Douglas County high school cheerleader who tried to hang herself in 2013 after being bullied online. Oxygen deprivation from Arellano’s suicide attempt resulted in a severe brain injury that has left her a paraplegic and unable to talk.
— Changing standards for identifying suspects in lineups, including telling witnesses that the perpetrator might not be among the suspects they are shown. Colorado is joining 12 other states that have revamped standards to try to reduce mistaken identifications.
— Requiring that defendants in cases of assault in the first, second, and third degree undergo testing for communicable diseases if their body fluids come into contact with the victim, peace officer or medical provider.
— Creating immunity from charges of possessing drug paraphernalia when someone volunteers to law enforcement during a body search that they have a hypodermic needle or syringe with traces of a controlled substance. The goal is to prevent accidental needle pricks of law enforcement officers or medical personnel.
Part 1: What’s on the market? Info about kief, BHO, water hash and others
Part 2: How should I smoke this shatter? Ways to consume concentrates
Part 3: Are concentrates right for me? On potency, expected effects and more