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Just like marijuana, hash oil can lead to criminal charges

Most people know that manufacturing recreational marijuana in California is illegal and can lead to criminal charges. But did you know that the same is true for hash oil, a secretion of concentrated THC derived from marijuana? Not only could manufacturing this drug lead to criminal charges but it could also lead to civil litigation as well.

We bring this up to our San Diego readers because of several instances involving hash oil in Sacramento County. But the problem is not just with possession of the drug, it's what is happening sometimes during the manufacturing process. The problem has gotten so bad that it has forced the district attorney to issue an alert to residents in the county and state.

What is happening, the D.A. explains, is that a number of residences are exploding or catching fire because of the process, which is known to use butane to produce the drug. Because butane vapors are heavier than air, they can condense in low-lying areas that can ignite later due to a spark.

While suffering an injury in such an explosion would be devastating, facing criminal charges afterward for manufacturing an illegal substance would be much worse. That's because, in the state of California, manufacturing hash oil is a felony offense, which are prosecuted more severely under state law.

Drug charges are not the only criminal charges that could result from such an incident. According to the D.A., an explosion or fire caused by the manufacturing of hash oil can lead to potential arson charges. And if other people were present at the time of the incident, charges of endangerment or causing injury could be levied against the accused.

It's worth pointing out that after criminal litigation, a person accused of manufacturing the drug could see civil litigation as well, especially if the explosion or fire caused injury or property damage for someone else. Though this will not result in further criminal charges, there could be penalties including compensation payouts, depending on how the courts decide.

Sources: KXTV News, "D.A.: Hash oil 'exploding' in Sacramento County," Aug. 1, 2014, "California Drug Cultivation and Manufacturing Laws," Accessed Aug. 5, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results