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New type of marijuana could be ‘extremely dangerous,’ expert warns

A new type of high potency marijuana called “Shatter” is now being used by some Garden State residents, according to experts.

Medical Marijuana
FILE – This Feb. 1, 2011 file photo shows medical marijuana clone plants at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Experts are warning that Shatter is dangerous, for a variety of reasons.

Angelo Valente, the executive director of the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey, said Shatter is five times more potent than regular pot, and it can easily ignite, because it’s made by combining marijuana and butane gas.

“This is extremely dangerous, there are many home explosions in this process,” Valente said. “So there’s not only concern about the use of this type of a chemical going into a child or a young person’s body, but also the immediate concern about explosions that we might be seeing in the state of New Jersey.”

When butane gas is combined with marijuana it produce a waxy substance that is then heated and inhaled, or “vaped” by users, in a vaporizer.

Valente said as marijuana becomes legalized in a growing number of states,  people will be seeking stronger and stronger potencies.

“This is only the beginning of what types of products will become available as a result, which is extremely alarming,” he said.

He also pointed out that the stronger substances can be especially harmful to younger people.

“We know from our research that the brain is still developing until a young person is in their early 20s, and we can’t imagine how putting chemicals, or inhaling, or smoking chemicals can have any positive effect on that development,” Valente said.

He said the bottom line is that it’s important for all New Jersey residents “to become aware of just how dangerous Shatter and any other illegal drugs can be to them, both short term and long term.”

Shatter, which has a THC content of about 80 percent, is legal in some western states, including Colorado and Washington.

Authorities in Colorado have reported a sharp increase in the number of home explosions, where individuals have attempted to make butane has oil (Shatter) and failed.

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