It is the responsibility of the media to accurately report news finding unbiased facts with stringent research. When a news organization completely ignores facts in order to push an agenda, the word “news” is thrown out the door and should be singled out as propaganda, nothing more.
On March 24, 2016, Jonathan Wahl, a reporter for ABC affiliate KSPR in Springfield, MO broadcast live from his Facebook page to let his followers know of a story he would be reporting on for the evening news about “marijuana honey”.
He held up a cheap can of butane as he briefly explained the dangers of mixing it with marijuana before holding up a non-medicated cookie saying the danger could cause kids to overdose.
The published story stated it was “a new twist to an old drug” as Laclede County Sheriff Wayne Merritt explained it looks like honey, that’s how it got its nickname.
Butane extraction is nothing new and many states, specifically those who have legalized it for medical and recreational purposes, have been producing and selling Butane Hash Oil (BHO) for years. It is dangerous to make and no one should be attempting to extract the oil in his or her home without risk of fire or explosion. Professionals use $30,000 closed-loop systems, but have discovered safer and cleaner methods included CO2 and heat pressed rosin.
News searches of Laclede County, Missouri reveal reports of cell phone and propane tank thefts, underage firearm possessions, and local traffic accidents. One story indicated a gas leak causing a building to evacuate, however, residents were allowed to return to their homes. There were no reports of explosions, fires, or marijuana overdoses within the first 10 search pages.
The Sheriff continued, “If a four year old or six year old child comes into a room and there’s a dozen chocolate chip cookies sitting on the counter, they’re not going to eat one. They’re going to eat two, three and the next thing you know you’ve got an overdosed child on THC.”
Displaying cannabis-infused cookies or other edibles in the open is not a common practice for marijuana users, despite what Hollywood would have us believe. Kids getting their hands on alcohol or firearms prove to be a much more prevalent threat to themselves and the community.
A representative from the Sheriff’s office could not recall any incidents of explosion or overdose in their area and messages left for the Sheriff himself and Mr. Wahl were not returned.
Wahl did interview a professional, Dr. Gil Mobley, who has treated patients in Washington State for nearly ten years. He says, “I am convinced cannabis is safer than alcohol” adding overdosing on marijuana is never deadly, even in children.
“They may have an anxiety reaction. They will live through it,” he says. “A non-threatening atmosphere, dim lights, and letting them be with a trusted friend will certainly help.” I also recommend lying down with some Dark Side of the Moon or the Bob Marley Songs of Freedom collection.
Although Wahl attempts to show both sides of this argument, his approach and account is nothing short of inflammatory. He needlessly included a brief description of the process from the Sheriff, which can do more harm than good.
“They just use the marijuana, they make a tube, and then they run butane, cans of butane and shoot it through the marijuana, making it a liquid form that they catch into a container.”
If the process were that simple, there would be more people doing it. Kids are more likely to attempt extraction without having a proper understanding of the temperatures, amounts, and times required for proper extraction or purging needed to remove all traces of butane within the oil. Any misinformation about the process can lead to explosion or ingestion of the odorless gas.
The Laclede County Sheriff’s office hosted a training session prior to the release of this story on “marijuana honey” although if they keep referring to it as “marijuana honey” they run the risk of severely misinforming the public. Without a professional who has been through the process who can properly describe the dangers associated with it, their own credibility comes into question.
Washington State has abandoned production and sales of BHO and has focused their attention on CO2 and rosin. Perhaps it is time for Missouri to do the same and focus more on the benefits the extracted oils have had for epileptics and cancer patients. Jonathan Wahl’s reporting on this topic is ill-informed, out of focus, and has the potential to cause more damage than a marijuana cookie sitting out on the table in plain view of a four year old or six year old.