“Marijuana Wax” (aka wax, concentrates, hash oil, budder, honey oil, extracts, shatter, 710, dabs, among others) is a concentrated form of THC extracted from the marijuana plant. With THC levels that can go as high as 80% to 90%, it offers a much “greater” high, and for first time users, the effect can be quite different from smoking a joint.
Because of the higher levels of THC, concentrates have seen a significant rise in popularity and use with some suggesting that this is the future of marijuana.
So is this trend something that is good for the current legalization movement?
The main media is attempting to sensationalize marijuana concentrates coverage by blaming their use for overdose, deadly accidents, inexplicable behaviors, and even murder. Photos of burned out houses and butane flames conjure up images of meth labs and hardcore drug addicts.
Some of the recent headlines bears this out (This is just some Marijuana Wax news headlines past few days):
- StarTribune: “After woman’s death, overdoses, Minn. officials raise alarm over marijuana wax“
- MPRNews: “DPS: Dangerous marijuana wax showing up in Minnesota“
- LaCrosseTribune: “2 men charged in house fire blamed on marijuana wax“
- KVRR: “Marijuana Wax Use Growing & It’s Deadly“
- GrandForksHerald: “Explosion, fire that killed 85-year-old St. Cloud woman started during marijuana wax operation“
These headlines and the concerns expressed in the stories have MnDPS to issue a “Public Safety Alert: Marijuana Wax Dangers, Duluth Mother Speaks Out” video along with the following description:
Recently two teens overdosed in Duluth after using marijuana concentrates. The mother of one of those teens, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to the Department of Public Safety in hopes of educating the public and preventing another tragedy.
She said her son was hallucinating, hearing noises and eventually was rushed to the hospital when he was having trouble breathing.
“I was just scared not knowing if he was able to breathe, if he was going to die before they go there,” said the Duluth mother who wishes to remain anonymous. “I do think it’s a wake-up call and it would be really great if we could stop it before it gets too bad.”
The accompanying MnDPS video:
And another news story about Marijuana Wax:
Just purely from a public relations standpoint, these stories are undoubtedly hurting the legalization movement. And the marijuana prohibitionists are already using this as a reason not to legalize cannabis. They are implying that smoking marijuana will be a gateway to the “harder” marijuana wax, which they are saying, is responsible for all these tragic headlines.
How will this affect those on the fence about legalization? And just as importantly, will a politician be as willing to support something that could potential be associated with horrible images and headlines?
It will convince some of those on the fence to fall on the side of the opponents, and it will make some politicians run for safety. That is just fact.
But another fact that the opponents want to ignore is that “dabs” are here to stay, just as marijuana has and will be. And if the marijuana prohibition has proven anything, it’s that prohibitions that go against the will of the people have never and will never work. It will only create an overcrowded prison system driven by greed and fed by the cartels and our own government.
In fact, it’s our opinion that the rise in popularity of marijuana concentrates makes eliminating the cannabis prohibition even more important and urgent.
Driving the cannabis concentrate market underground will result in more sad headlines as above. Additionally, the production process will be compromised without regard for health considerations. It has happened with all illegal substances that go through a “production” process and it will happen with marijuana concentrates. A recent testing of concentrates found metals and butane, and this was legal concentrates.
The way forward is to eliminate the prohibition and bring the production of concentrates out of the basements and hidden warehouses. This will allow setting health and safety standards and guidelines. And to properly label it so that the buyer knows what they are using. Just a “normal” drinker wouldn’t want to drink 100 proof alcohol, proper labeling will allow cannabis users to exercise common sense based on information.
The key is to not double down on our mistake of prohibition by going through it all over again with marijuana concentrates.