A Colorado House committee met for the first time this week to discuss a bill that could make one type of newly legal cannabis once again a state felony.
The House Judiciary Committee, which is tasked with considering matters of the Colorado constitution and revising previous Colorado Statutes has come to the table with a bill that would make forming homemade hash oil into a Class 2 felony.
The bill comes in response to a recent sharp increase in home explosions due to homemade hash oil gone wrong.
According to online marijuana news journal The Cannabist, there were 30 injuries in 32 explosions involving improper butane extraction at a home or residence. Like celebrity deaths, they seem to come in groups, which prompted swift coverage from local media, and even swifter attention by the Colorado Legislature.
House Bill 15-1305 is only in the very beginning stages of the life of a potentially constitution-altering bill. The measure was first proposed in the Judiciary committee of the Colorado House on Thursday, and must pass a vote within the committee before moving on to a completely separate committee for another round of voting.
If passed through the second committee – which is highly likely due to the high profile nature of the bill – it will then go to the general House assembly for a final vote. If passed, it would go on to the Colorado Senate for approval, then to the Governor’s desk. After that, it’s all up to Hickenlooper.
If the Governor finds the bill to be well enough to pass, the bill becomes law July 1, 2015 and a form of cannabis that only mere months earlier was legal will once again be considered a felony in the state of Colorado.
The bill would also make it a Class 2 felony for individuals living at the home or residence, even if they were not directly involved with the creation of the concentrate. If you don’t alert authorities, you become an accessory to a felony.
So, Strike it Down Right!?
It may come as a surprise, but the recreational and medical cannabis industry is behind the proposed bill, as a whole.
The goal of the industry from day one back in November, 2014 has been a safe, regulated use and sale of marijuana in the state of Colorado. Potentially explosive homemade hash is anything but safe, or regulated.
The bill has a long way to go and a lot of hurtles to climb before it becomes law and turns homemade hash from legal drug back to a Class 2 felony. With seemingly bipartisan support from lawmakers and the industry as a whole, however, it’s hard to see the bill NOT doing just that.