New Marijuana Drug Has Some Worried - New York News

New Marijuana Drug Has Some Worried

Updated:
PHILADELPHIA -

The pot debate continues to rage on and is taking a dangerous turn. People are finding new ways to get an even more powerful high.

FOX 29's Dave Kinchen shows us a new pot craze hitting our streets that could have dangerous, even deadly, results.

It's a pipe dream come true for pot smokers, and the craze is invading our area. It's called Butane Hash Oil and it's extracted from traditional Cannabis. Users say that the stuff is so powerful that a "dab" will do ya and then some.

"If you go to any college area around here, Temple, Penn, wherever, you'll be able to find yourself some BHO."

Nick Vadala works for Philadelphia Magazine. He has written about hash oil and says that the trend is wildly popular out West in states where Marijuana is legal.

However, Philadelphia is catching on, even though the laws are strict. Thousands in Philly now crave hash oil's powerful punch.

"It's a very strong, concentrated form of marijuana[.] It's also just very concealable: you can hide it, you can use it in the street, and it's kind of unknown as it stands right now."

Butane hash oil or BHO is made from grinding up Marijuana into a tube and running butane gas through it. Users then take hits from the extractions, "dabs" as they call them.

There are scores of do-it-yourself demos plastered over the Internet on sites like YouTube. These videos show people how to make the various forms of BHO, from the hard, amber colored stuff called "Shatter," to the softer, smoother "Butter" or "Earwax."

Some users even smoke, or rather vaporize the drug, through e-cigarettes. The DEA says that one drop on a cigarette is equal to the effects of a single joint.

However, it's more than just an ultra-high for Mike Whiter of South Jersey.

"It' calmed me down, I wasn't on edge. I felt really good," he tells FOX 29.

Whiter served in Iraq with the Marines and says he came back with post-traumatic stress disorder. He was constantly reliving the nightmares seen in combat.

"Seen things I can't unsee," Whiter explains. "Walking down the street and one side looks like Iraq, the other side looks like Philadelphia."

He says that VA doctors put him on about 40 medications for over five years.

"Everything ranging from Lexapril, which is an antidepressant, to Klonopin which is anti-anxiety, Morphine, methadone, which is a pain medication but it's a super strong pain medicine and it's used mainly to help heroin addicts get off of heroin."

He found hash oil a year ago and hasn't looked back since. He even showed FOX 29 some of the tools to make it. He presented a glass tube, a torch and yes, marijuana itself. He actually made up a quick batch and took a dab.

"The first time I smoked, after being on all these pills, I was like, ‘you know what? This could be a miracle drug for me.' It saved my life. It literally saved my life."

Some like whiter find it therapeutic, but there are dangers too, and we're not just talking about the head-spinning high. This past summer, an Oregon man died after receiving burns over 90 percent of his body during a hash oil explosion.

And federal authorities say that these explosions are on the rise. Some may recall when FOX 29 reported on a video of a house that blew up after a home-made BHO attempt went wrong. The people tried using the same flammable chemical you'll find in an average lighter.

Some interpret the dangers differently.

"To me, it's an argument for legalization."

Chris Goldstein is a Philadelphia activist with the group Philly NORML, and he is pushing for the decriminalization of Marijuana. He says that the government could actually help curb the BHO risks.

"My concern is for consumers out there, and the best way to protect Cannabis consumers is to regulate the product and have it manufactured under regulations and available in stores."

The legal debate is currently going, state by state. While drug enforcement authorities continue to watch the flow of hash oil, many users like Mike Whiter stand by it.

"Now I have a life again. I have a purpose in life again…" he tells FOX 29.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:59 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:59:51 GMT
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
  • Queens Beer Week kicks off

    Queens Beer Week kicks off

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:19 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:19:20 GMT
    Queens wants to be known as New York City's beer capital. Queens Beer Week kicked off on Friday to celebrate the borough's crafty breweries and the more than 60 venues that serve their beer. Dan Bronson of Crescent and Vine in Astoria is the bearded brains behind the inaugural Queens Beer Week. He organized it all. The nine-day celebration of beers brewed in Queens.
    Queens wants to be known as New York City's beer capital. Queens Beer Week kicked off on Friday to celebrate the borough's crafty breweries and the more than 60 venues that serve their beer. Dan Bronson of Crescent and Vine in Astoria is the bearded brains behind the inaugural Queens Beer Week. He organized it all. The nine-day celebration of beers brewed in Queens.
  • Woman wanted for baby snatch attempt in custody

    Woman wanted for baby snatch attempt in custody

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:57:17 GMT
    Police have taken into custody the woman believed to have tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Tara Anne McDonald, 46, was being evaluated at a hospital Friday night. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
    Police have taken into custody the woman believed to have tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Tara Anne McDonald, 46, was being evaluated at a hospital Friday night. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices