While there’s plenty to love about weed concentrates like wax, one thing that’s not so great is the legal gray area that surrounds it in some places.
Although wax is simply a more potent version of weed with plenty of medical applications, some people don’t think it should be legal.
As dabs have gained popularity in dispensaries and — of course — Colorado’s legal weed market, its critics have gotten louder and louder in their condemnation of the weed form.
A feature in Complex magazine describes its effects as “highly hallucinogenic,” citing the case of “Josh,” an 18-year-old who wound up with thousands of dollars in fines and a year of probation. Other articles on the topic tell stories about people who get so high they pass out or have freakouts.
These details just add fuel to the fire of lawmakers who’d ban wax if they could. But here’s the thing: those are all effects that “regular” weed could have — if you smoked or ate too much of it.
It’s all about moderation, which is something critics of wax don’t seem to grasp; by the same logic, it would be wise to ban vodka but allow beer.
California state senator Lou Correa tried (and failed) to pass one such bill, SB 1262, which masqueraded as an attempt to regulate medical 420 for the good of the people.
The law would have dictated that “Under no circumstances shall a physician and surgeon recommend butane hash oil.” In other words, because it’s often made with butane, some kinds of wax would have been verboten under the new rules.
Such a law could seriously hurt patients who depend on certain kinds of concentrates, like eight-year-old Charlotte Figi, whose severe seizures are only kept at bay by cannabis oil. And her case isn’t all that rare.
Right now, there just isn’t evidence that there’s any health-based reason to ban wax or butane honey oil, and a better option would be to educate people about proper usage.
Making wax, however, comes with heavy penalties, at least in California. In a court case called The People v. Bergen, a judge ruled that people who made marijuana concentrates could be charged with and punished for operating a drug lab. As a result, concentrate producers have been slammed with years in prison for processing wax.
The lawmakers do have one good point: it’s incredibly dangerous to make wax without the proper setup, equipment, or know-how. The process involves majorly flammable chemicals and poses serious risk to the people performing it — not to mention their neighbors. But more than anything, this just highlights the need for industry regulations that focus mainly on harm reduction, rather than “crime” and punishment.
It seems, however, that we’re moving in the right direction when it comes to policing weed in its varied forms. A recent case made headlines when a court found that 22-year old Sean Patrick Mulcrevy hadn’t broken his probation by possessing less than a gram of wax.
Although the prosecution pointed fingers at the “concentrated cannabis” Mulcrevy used, on doctor’s orders, to treat his migraines, an appeals court set them straight, ruling that concentrated cannabis like wax, hash, or honey oil all counted as medical marijuana.
While the fight for the right to use cannabis responsibly and intelligently is far from over, great strides are being made for marijuana, medical and otherwise.