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Shatter lab busted in North East England

Posted on October 12th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

dab rigA cannabis "shatter" production lab in England's North East, said to be the first of its kind in the post-industrial region, was busted Oct. 12 in a paramilitary-style raid by the Northumbria Police. Local media show a squad of cops in full body armor breaking down the door and smashing the windows of a local property with buzz-saws, battering rams and pick-axes. Two arrests were made in the raid on the Croft Estate housing project in the town of Gateshead, just across the River Tyne from the historic city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. An unspecified number of plants as well as butane and other equipment were seized.

Shatter is a glass-like concentrate of cannabis oil, and there has been much hype from media and law enforcement in the United States about its dangers—both in production and consumption. The hype has now hit the United Kingdom in no uncertain terms.

"We are aware that this 'shatter' form of cannabis is commonly produced in the US but it is not very widely used at all in this country," Inspector Cheryl Warcup told the UK's ITV. "Not only is it illegal but you have to use highly flammable butane gas to strip the chemicals from the plants and that puts you at huge risks. Last year it was reported that two people died and more than two dozen were injured due to explosions linked to the production of the drug."

This recalls the recent slew of media reports in the Unted States about explosions at hash oil labs. And indeed the dangers are real. That's why there has been much debate and controversy within the international cannabis community about the growing popularity of dabbing and extracts as opposed to good old-fashioned herb. But, as usual, prohibition and militarized police raids are hurting—not helping.

As Russ Belville pointed out in a piece on the question: "We must redouble our efforts to educate the public that just as profit-seeking bootleggers blew up the occasional still to make concentrated alcohol (whiskey) under Prohibition, so too will profit-seeking hash makers operate unsafely until the activity is regulated and prohibition profit margins reduced."

Cross-post to High Times

Graphic: High Times

 

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