Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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May 6, 2014

Hash oil explosions rise with legalized marijuana

(Continued)

But Brian Vicente, who helped write the pot law, said its statute allowing the processing of marijuana plants includes home hash oil production. The law is vague but as the issue has evolved, legislators should step in to find a balance, he said.

Vicente said the fires will decline as people realize the dangers and head to pot shops instead.

Each month, patents arrive at the University of Colorado Hospital's burn center with deep, painful burns, almost all of which require surgery, associate nurse manager Camy Boyle said.

But Wayne Winkler said though it remains cheaper to make the oil at home, he knows the damage such explosions can cause.

In 2012, he agreed to make hash oil as a favor for a friend, but after he made a batch, he saw the butane vapors ignite by an electric stove. The explosion left him with severe burn scars on his hands, arms, neck and face.

"It was the worst pain of my life," said Winkler, who nearly lost his home and family. "It wasn't worth the risk."

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