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New drug craze: 'wax'


Potent, dangerous marijuana product



marijuana wax
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August 14, 2014
NORTH FULTON, Ga. -- As part of a drug bust Aug. 8, Roswell Police found several pounds of marijuana in a home belonging to suspected drug dealers. They also found 80 grams of a substance called "wax."

Wax is a new form of the old drug. According to officials, it is a concentrated form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) called "wax."

Marijuana wax is more than 80 percent pure THC compared with the average high grade marijuana leaf at 20 – 30 percent TCH, according to police. It can be eaten or used in e-cigarettes as well as smoked.

Roswell Police Spokesman Zachary Frommer said wax has been popping up recently in Roswell.

"In the last couple years it's become more popular," he said.

Perhaps more concerning than the increasing use of the drug is that people are making it themselves.

"Home chefs are making it instead of buying it," Frommer said. "You can go on the Internet to learn how to do it."

Because the chemicals to make it are highly flammable, the process is prone to explosion.

"Wax is dangerous to make and to ingest," Frommer said.

Wax is also known under other names, such as butter or Butane Hash Oil (BHO). Traditional hash was produced by rubbing marijuana plants through metal screen sieves to separate the THC crystals from the plant. Wax is made by "blasting" a chemical solvent, such as butane, CO2, through the plant matter, then "purging" the solvent away. But these solvents don't just extract the THC, they also pull substances from other parts of the plant and traces of the solvent remain as well.

The trace amounts of solvent are one of the reasons many users refer to the onset of the effects as a "mule kick" because of the strong rush.

Wax can vary in appearance from a dark brown goo to crumbly cheese consistency.

Michele Leonhart, administrator of the DEA, said before the House Appropriations Committee April 2 that the use of wax is increasing across the country and can be extremely dangerous.

"In 2013, the THC content of leaf marijuana averaged 14 percent while the THC content of marijuana concentrates averaged 54 percent, with some samples reported as high as 99 percent," Leonhart said. "Highly flammable butane gas is used to extract the THC from the marijuana leaf, and has resulted in home explosions, injuries, and deaths."

But is wax still illegal? Yes.

Georgia law prohibits all synthetic or natural products containing more than 15 percent by weight of THC.

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Tags: Crime, Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    Get your facts right
    August 15, 2014 | 09:22 AM

    wax is nothing new nor is it dangerous, unless you're a taco bell product. i wish the focus was on getting rid of the heroin and meth trade, you know, drugs that actually kill people.

    Henry Rollins
    FoCo
  2. report print email
    Unlimited resources?
    August 16, 2014 | 05:59 PM

    Thanks Henry; that took courage to say in this community.

    I agree that we have limited resources to manage the things that present the greatest threat to public safety. This is not one of them.

    We have created a community in which a kid will have an easier time scoring some smack because all of our attention is on alcohol and marijuana. So long as we maintain the facade of Mayberry, I guess that's okay, right?

    Jolly Roger
    FoCo
  3. report print email
    Cannon Fodder
    August 18, 2014 | 09:50 AM

    Anything to take the focus on ramped personal property theft.. We have a wonderful revolving door system because our DA's are working the catch and release program in order to make sure they always have a job. We should start a war on jaywalking, maybe that would help things.

    Steve Wilcocks
    Alpharetta
  4. report print email
    Prohibition is Oppression of the Innocent by Fundamentalists
    August 18, 2014 | 03:29 PM

    The DEA is spreading purposeful lies to protect their jobs. Hash (that's what wax is, it's new in name only) is completely harmless. Absolutely no one has been injured from using hash. Absolutely no one has died from making it. Many people make their living imprisoning the morally innocent. It's time for prohibition to end.

    Other Blackflagreference
    FauxCeaux
  5. report print email
    80 grams equals 'craze'
    August 19, 2014 | 08:30 PM

    Read the first paragraph again. Police raided a house and found 80 grams of this stuff. I am not seeing the connection to a 'craze'.

    Jackie Ohara
    Johns Creek
  6. report print email
    Marijuana is not a drug.
    August 20, 2014 | 11:25 PM

    It grows in the dirt. How can something be illegal that grows in the dirt? Thank gawd we're winning the war on drugs though...$26,114,445,644 spent on the War On Drugs so far this year...As of 8/20.
    Let's start a war on the Religious Right.

    Kdan DeMan
    Alpharetta
  7. report print email
    Opium also grows in dirt.
    August 21, 2014 | 11:28 PM

    'Nuff said.

    Bob McCarthy
    FOCO
  8. report print email
    Lesser Evil
    August 22, 2014 | 08:57 PM

    The only thing worse than legal heroin is illegal heroin. Prohibition creates jobs for criminals.

    Dez Cadena
    El Ay
  9. report print email
    @Kdan DeMan
    August 26, 2014 | 12:22 PM

    So, you want to start a war on the religious right? What rock have you been in a coma under? There has been a war on Christianity and the so-called "religious right" in this nation for YEARS by the so-called "progressive" left in this nation.

    Further, the last time I checked, plenty of DEMOCRATS support the "war on drugs." Low information ignoramuses of the regressive left like you are what is all that is wrong with America.

    Oh by the way, how are we doing on a half century trillions spent on LBJ's "war on poverty" there, ace? Don't forget to include the fact that under Obama we have a record amount of households in poverty and on food stamps!

    Rick T.
    Milton
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