DEA Cracks Down on “Wax” Marijuana Drug

Despite its limited legalization in Colorado for both medical and recreational purposes, marijuana remains a class 1 controlled substance under federal law and its possession is still technically illegal and its sale is a federal crime.

The Obama administration, however, has said that it will not interfere with the rollout of legal marijuana in states that make it available for medical use, or even in states that permit certain recreational use, such as Colorado and Washington, provided that the states establish and maintain rules designed to thwart some of the more pressing concerns, such as possession and use by minors.

Recently, the administration took another step toward tolerance by releasing guidelines from the Treasury Department intended to make it easier for banks to do business with legal marijuana businesses.

Now, it appears as though a new point of conflict is emerging. In Colorado, there is no particular restriction on the concentration of THC – the chemical in marijuana that creates the “high,” so long as the levels are disclosed in the packaging. But elsewhere, particularly in California, where only medical marijuana is available, agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are cracking down on a popular new drug, known as “Wax.”

According to a report by ABC News, “wax” is such a potent distillation of marijuana that one hit of the drug can keep a person high for more than a day, or, in comparative terms, equal to smoking 20 joints of high grade weed.  One DEA official claims that agents have seen users suffer the onset of psychosis and even brain damage as a result of exposure of such high levels of concentration. In addition, the process whereby the concentrate is extracted can be unusually hazardous. Thus, the DEA is moving against producers and sellers of the concentrate.

But meanwhile, in Colorado, it can be purchased directly off the shelf. The ABC report linked above notes that there was recently a three-day contest, called the “X-Cup,” held in in Denver to see who could make the most potent batch of “wax.”  It remains to be seen how the DEA will reconcile the crackdown in California with a blind eye in Colorado.

By Jay Tiftickjian Law Firm, Denver DUI Attorneys
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