OPINION: Marijuana prohibition won’t stop “shatter” production

Nick Seebruch
OPINION: Marijuana prohibition won’t stop “shatter” production
TC Media file photo.

Over the past month two different fires in the City of Cornwall were linked to the production of "shatter", a wax or taffy like substance created from marijuana oil.

To make shatter one has to heat it up with butane lighters, sometimes this process can get out of control and lead to tragic results, as it did in the case of the fire on Carleton Street in late March where a 67-year-old man lost his life because someone was making shatter in his building. In that case, the individual in question was trying to add Isoamyl to his mix of shatter, a type of clear alcohol.

Later in the month, another fire, this time on First Street, was also attributed to the production of shatter.

“Not only is the practice illegal, it is very dangerous and unpredictable. You are basically in your house with a time bomb” stated S/Sgt Frazer of the Cornwall Community Police Service in a rare public warning from our police and fire services.

In the wake of both fires, there were those in the comment section who remarked that the decision of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to move to legalize marijuana would only encourage further dangerous behaviour.

My opinion is that those who want to use marijuana to make shatter will continue to do so regardless of whether the base drug is legal or not.
Prohibition creates a black market to serve a prohibited demand and the funds of that black market go on to fund more deadly criminal enterprises. With government regulation of marijuana, the proceeds of the sale of that drug will now at least go to the government rather than any criminal organization.

Some critics say that government weed will be so costly and over regulated that the black market trade will simply continue, as it has with illegal tobacco and that is very possible, but it is doubtful that the black market trade will still be as lucrative as it is now.

After all, many people still buy their tobacco from the store rather than going through an illegal smuggler. It is more convenient in many ways. For one, if the local store is selling it, it is much more simple just to walk down and buy your marijuana there, also there is the convenience of not worrying about becoming a criminal.

When marijuana is legal, there will still be using it for illegal or dangerous purposes, but at least this legislation will be taking a lot of money out of the hands of drug dealers.

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