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Explosion at hotel linked to drug manufacturing

A 21-year-old man was critically injured in an explosion when he lit a cigarette and ignited the fumes from a butane torch he was using. The incident occurred at a residency hotel in San Diego located near Sea World. A 20-year-old woman in the room was also seriously injured. Police initially suspected the two were manufacturing methamphetamine, but it appears the butane torch was being used on marijuana in an effort to extract hashish oil. The couple may be facing drug charges.

The explosion was large. It blew out walls and windows in the building and flames and smoke were seen billowing from the roof. Guests reported seeing a man rushing down a hall in flames. Another male in the building suffered burns and a concussion.

Hashish can be used in various ways including smoking, vaporizing and orally by placing a small amount under the tongue or eating it in what are known as edibles. Honey oil is a specific type of hashish often extracted with a butane torch. Individuals who possess a medical marijuana card in California can obtain hashish products from a licensed distributor. However, the manufacture of hashish by individuals is illegal on both the state and federal levels.

The penalties for manufacturing narcotics in California can be harsh and manufacturing hashish is viewed in the same manner as a meth lab by the authorities. An individual who is convicted on drug charges can face prison time and large fines. A criminal defense attorney may be able to review the case and recommend ways to reduce the charges and alleviate the repercussions of an arrest or conviction.

Sources: USA Today, "3 hurt in drug explosion at San Diego hotel," Michael Winter, Jan. 30, 2013

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