Marijuana honey oil fires growing at an alarming rate in Fresno County

Fresno County investigators want to know who was behind a honey oil explosion that landed three people in the hospital with serious burns.
February 12, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Fresno County investigators want to know who was behind a honey oil explosion that landed three people in the hospital with serious burns.

Their injuries are extensive, and in prior cases, victims from explosions like this have been in the hospital for almost a year.

Investigators say education is the best weapon against this new trend.

The "how-to" videos are easy to find with the click of a mouse. And the products you need to make honey oil -- butane and marijuana, are equally as easy to obtain.

Michael Ortiz with the Fresno meth task force explained, "Because everybody has a bag of weed or shake or trim and they think they're a chemist and think this is a better way to get a high and they don't know what they're doing."

Ortiz says all butane needs is an ignition source, and the outcome can be explosive.

Three people are in the hospital after an explosion in Mendota. A number of people were inside the home -- saturating marijuana stems with butane which leaves behind a waxy substance.

Michael Green added, "It's a purer form of cannabis just like all concentrates are -- you're removing the stuff you shouldn't be inhaling anyway."

Cannabis advocates like Michael Green are equally disturbed by the amount of explosions and seemingly common "disasters" from the extraction process.

Green explained, "Lack of government regulation to give some direction to that economic activity, it's basically a free for all, so there's no oversight over how any of this stuff is being prepared."

Since January, there have been six explosions from honey oil extraction. Compare that to 2013's total of ten for the year. Law enforcement says it has nothing to do with the law, and everything to do with the high

Ortiz added, "I don't know when this is going to end because everybody thinks if they have a can of butane and a little weed they can make honey oil."

And Ortiz says he wishes people would realize the dangers of what can happen when you mix highly flammable fumes and confined spaces.

When investigators figure out who was actually doing the extraction in Mendota that person will be faced with felony charges.


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