LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a bill that would stiffen penalties for making hash oil and methamphetamine in or near residential neighborhoods.
The law goes into effect in January.
The new law was authored by Senator Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, who is also a former teacher in East Los Angeles.
KCAL9's Rebecca Ferriter says many parents have probably never heard of hash oil but it's all the rage with younger folks.
Butane Hash Oil or BHO is a highly potent form of marijuana which has grown in popularity in the past few years. On the street, it's known by a variety of slang terms including dabs, toast, erl, honeycomb, honey and wax.
"We're seeing almost an epidemic of honey oil type of injuries," said Peter Grossman, director of the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills.
He said he's handled about 20 burns from honey oil lab explosions in the past year.
The "labs" are extremely dangerous to operate.
Chemicals used to make hash oil and meth can cause fires, chemical burns, release toxic fumes and cause explosions.
"People learn how to do it online," Grossman said, "and if they light a match [near the fumes], or turns on a lighter, or the gas gets next to a pilot light, then boom -- you don't just have a flame, you have an explosion."
In the past year alone, many homes in the southland were leveled by meth lab explosions. In addition to property damage and injuries, some of the explosions have caused death.
Under the new law, people making honey oil within 300 feet of a residence and meth within 200 feet of a residence will face stiffer felonies.
In the past few years around California alone, police have found more than 800 such labs that would fall under the new guidelines.
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