Tempe police see rise in hash oil manufacturing, explosions - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tempe police see rise in hash oil manufacturing, explosions

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TEMPE, AZ (CBS5) -

Marijuana is touted as one of the safer recreational drugs, but it's causing major explosions across the country, including the Phoenix metro area.

"Our detectives are seeing this use of hash starting to rise," said Tempe Police Sgt. Michael Pooley. Hash oil is a butter or wax substance made by passing butane through marijuana using simple household items.

Pooley said that about 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 29, 25-year-old Bradley Brennan pulled up to a pump at a QT gas station and store.

"He had several butane cans in his backseat and obviously the fumes were seeping out of one of those cans," Pooley said.

Pooley said Brennan went to light up his hash oil, and his experiment literally blew up in his face.

"The fumes which had been circulating in that car ignited and made a pretty big explosion," Pooley said.

He said Brennan's back window blew out and he suffered severe burns on his arms, legs, and shoulders. Luckily, no one else was hurt.

Once Brennan is released from the hospital, he's likely facing several drug charges, Pooley said.

"These are not chemists, these aren't professionally designed areas," Pooley said. "People are doing them in their cars, in their apartments."

"Why would someone cook marijuana using butane? More potency," said Stephanie Siete with Community Bridges, a nonprofit that specializes in integrated medical and behavioral health care.

Siete said people need to be on the lookout for this different form of the drug, which is easier to conceal.

"Drugs are constant. But they're ever-changing in terms of how they're used, what they look like and the devices used with them," she said.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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