breaking bad

The legalization of pot has sparked a “Breaking Bad” phenomenon that is causing houses in Colorado to burst into flames.

The New York Times explains:

But that is exactly what firefighters, courts and lawmakers across the state are confronting these days: amateur marijuana alchemists who are turning their kitchens and basements into “Breaking Bad”-style laboratories, using flammable chemicals to extract potent drops of a marijuana concentrate commonly called hash oil, and sometimes accidentally blowing up their homes and lighting themselves on fire in the process.

The Gray Lady further advocates explains to us dusty, cow town types, that these labs are legal and that police have no business cracking down on the hash chefs whose activities are no worse than deep-frying a turkey.

Exhibit A: Paul Mannaioni was charged with arson and manufacturing pot after the Denver cooperative where he was brewing the batch exploded. His lawyer, Robert Corry, insisted that Coloradans had called for a fundamental shift of how pot is controlled when they legalized it.

It is no longer an issue for the police and courts, he said, but for the regulators and bureaucrats who enforce the civil codes surrounding marijuana growers and dispensaries.

“That constitutional provision renders my client’s accused conduct to be legal,” Mr. Corry said in court. “The court system is not to be used for marijuana regulation anymore.”

While defending his client in court against the arson charges, Corry further argued that making butane hash oil is just like brewing beer, and that the state law for which he was prosecuted simply wasn’t valid.

More quotes we couldn’t possibly make up:

“There are thousands of people in Colorado who are doing this,” Mr. Corry said in an interview. “I view this as the equivalent of frying turkey for Thanksgiving. Someone spills the oil, and there’s an explosion. It’s unfortunate, but it’s not a felony crime.”

Mannaioni said it was like, surreal, dude, to even be charged with such a bogus deal in Colorado, because legalization has been embraced.

Without a hint of irony, Mannaioni added: “I was blown away that they even charged us. The court system, they are having a really hard time of letting go that pot isn’t bad.”

Officials blame the cooking process of homemade hash on 32 explosions last year. Thankfully, no one was killed but 17 people were sent to the hospital for treatment of severe burns.