Every parent worries about their child when they drop them off each day at school or daycare.
Will they be taken care of? Will they be fed on time? Will they be treated well by others?
After a sickening “drug lab” bust at a residential child daycare facility in Victorville, California this past week, some parents in Southern California were left asking questions like, “Did my child ever pick up some guns left lying around, or knock over a few cases of butane?”
San Bernardino County Sheriffs served a search warrant on the home of 43-year old Ramona Meza this week, and once inside they were shocked at what they discovered in the home being used as a child care center.
Well within the grasp of the curious hands of the five kids she was supposed to be caring for, police found around three pounds of weed and two handguns – one of which had been previously reported as being stolen.
It was in the garage, however, that investigators turned up two ounces of butane hash oil, over 90 cans of butane, and a crude pressure cooker-style extraction setup where the cannabis was being converted into the concentrate in an extremely flammable process that potentially had all of the children at risk.
It is probably safe to assume that the extraction process was not taking place during the hours that some of the children were in the care of Meza, but when combined with the firearms and large quantities of weed discovered in the home, it doesn’t bode well for this half-baked nanny.
Two of the kids in the home were Meza’s, and they have been taken from her by Child Protective Services. The other three kids were returned to their parents. All five children involved are under the age of 6 years old.
Meza faces charges for multiple counts of child endangerment, on top of the firearms charge for the stolen gun, and the manufacturing charges for the hash oil setup.
All too often, these clandestine “labs” are discovered by the fire department, not the police, after a life-threatening explosion.
Though California has had medical marijuana laws on the books for 18 years, it is still illegal under both state and federal laws to manufacture butane hash oil.
Still you see the end product on nearly every dispensary shelf and menu. So obviously it is being manufactured.
There are those who take the proper precautions when performing the process; with true laboratory-grade equipment, a safe place to do it, and a fundamental understanding of the science and dangers involved.
Then there are those who buy pressure cookers on eBay, random parts from their local hardware store, and watch a few YouTube ‘How-To’ videos before setting up their “lab” in a residential garage…or worse.
That is the spectrum we get with exhausting cannabis prohibition, instead of sensible regulation.