LACLEDE COUNTY, Mo. -- Local law enforcement is growing concerned over a certain drug-- not necessarily by the effects of it, but by how it's used.
Law enforcement officers are calling it "marijuana honey." Law enforcement in Laclede County, and other neighboring counties, were briefed on what it is this week.
White it's been around for a few years now, the number of fires ignited by manufacturing it is continuing to grow.
"The more they do it, the more it's going to cause problems," said Laclede County Sheriff Wayne Merritt.
States out west, like Colorado and California, are seeing an increase in the number of house fires caused by the manufacturing of a drug called "marijuana honey."
"They had 12 blow up in 2013 in Colorado and 36 in 2014," said Merritt. "We don't have stats for 2015 and 2016 yet."
The Sheriff says "marijuana honey" manufacturers use butane to extract the THC out of marijuana.
"You're left with a liquid they call honey-- and they put it in a jar like a regular jar of honey," said Merritt. "It's yellowish honey and you probably couldn't tell the difference between marijuana honey and bee honey-- but it's not bee honey."
Sheriff Merritt says it's being used to cook with.
"They'll cook it into cookies or these gummy bears-- and that's what they'll eat," said Merritt. "And when they ingest it this way, smoking would last a few hours-- the gummy bears or cookies will last 2-3 days. Our main concern is children-- if people are making gummy bears, brownies, cookies and leaving them out where anybody can get a hold of one-- that's dangerous."
Local law enforcement agencies fear it could soon become more popular in Missouri.
"We stopped a truck in Sedalia a while back and they had gummy bears," said Merritt. "And it got interest in, and they had butane in the vehicle. They tested it and it tested positive for the THC."
He says butane is odorless and heavy-- and creating marijuana honey with it could cause an outcome similar to a meth lab explosion.
"We've seen it blow walls outside the side of rooms," said Merritt. "And it catches the whole house on fire."
Sheriff Merritt says when marijuana is smoked, there's usually 15-20 percent THC. He says when butane is used to create "marijuana honey," it's more like 80 to 100 percent THC.
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