Landlords and tenants have an unexpected new worry, legalized marijuana.
Already, marijuana use is an issue for D.C. landlords under decriminalization. One owner of 350
rentals in the city is about to add a ‘no smoking clause’ to his lease. He has always advertised his
properties as non-smoking, yet is getting increasing number of complaints from other tenants
about the pungent odor, from dope smoking in his buildings.
But a scary new concentrated form of marijuana is gaining in popularity, and presents very real
A new trend in the marijuana sub-culture is the smoking of “dabs” of marijuana concentrate.
This highly concentrated form of marijuana is expensive but growing in popularity for
Because of the expense of buying marijuana concentrate at a dispensary or pot shop, potheads
are using homemade recipes off the internet to manufacture the drug at home (remember meth
Colorado legalized marijuana as of January 1 of this year. By May, thirty-one home explosions
occurred in Colorado. The incidents were triggered by those attempting to make homemade
Butane Hash Oil, a marijuana concentrate. Butane is a highly volatile solvent and a flammable
gas at room temperature. Without proper ventilation it can easily go off like a bomb with ball of
fire, blowing out windows, and doing damage to a house, condo or apartment and putting
innocent neighbors at risk. This is particularly of concern to multilevel housing units like motels,
condos and apartment buildings. A child was trapped in an apartment above one of these
explosions in Colorado.
Fires and explosions from butane hash oil (BHO) production sent 17 people to a Portland burn
unit in a 16-month span, according an Oregon newspaper report in May. The BHO-explosions
caused numerous injuries, extensive property damage and at least one death in Oregon.
The most horrific case involving BHO hash oil, was a year ago, in Bellevue, Washington near
Seattle. All ten units of an apartment building were destroyed and residents jumped from 2nd and
3rd story windows, sustaining many broken bones. The explosion and fire caused $1.5 million in
damage and the loss of $500,000 in belongings. A total of 7 people were hospitalized, and a
former town mayor, who lived in the building, died from her injuries. The young man who
started the fire wasn’t even on the lease, he was staying with friends.
The proposed DC initiative 71 which would allow personal possession has no specific provisions
to outlaw, fine or hold accountable amateur hash oil manufacturing in a residential setting.