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Shatter Is Newest Addition To Drug Palette

One of the problems in dealing with the drug problem in Chautauqua County is that the problem is constantly changing.

For a time, marijuana and alcohol were the problem drugs. Then prescription drugs became the opiate of choice. Crack and cocaine have been around, too. More recently, heroin became the go-to drug. It didn’t take long after that for methamphetamine production and use to take off in the area.

Now, it appears the newest addition to the area’s drug palette is shatter, an often oily, highly potent form of marijuana also known as ear wax, shatter and 710. The concentrate can look like an oil, paste, wax, honey, shiny piece of glass or a powder, depending on how it is being made, according to the DEA. It has been found stashed in emptied-out tubes of lip balm or metal tins and can be smoked in e-cigarettes without even giving off a marijuana-like smell.

Just because shatter is marijuana-based doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. Manufacturing shatter can trigger explosions – an explosion in the state of Washington reportedly blew out the windows of an apartment, blew the walls six inches from the foundation in an area and cracked the foundation of the home. Fires in the Seattle area have started with exploding refrigerators. A 2013 incident in New York resulted in a teenager and his girlfriend being severely burned while making shatter while four teenagers were burned in a shatter-making mishap in Colorado. There were eventually enough incidents that the U.S. Fire Administration issued a bulletin warning of an increase in fires involving the production of shatter.

Now, shatter has made its way to Jamestown. Stevan Greenland, 29, of Falconer was charged a little more than three weeks ago after police seized 13 pounds of marijuana and nearly a pound of shatter from an apartment in the Spanish Gates. While the 13 pounds of marijuana was the most Capt. Robert Samuelson of the Jamestown Police Department can recall the department seizing at one time, it was the presence of shatter that stuck out. Samuelson added that the only good news about this particular seizure is that the “shatter” came from outside the area.

That won’t remain the case for long.

“However, like heroin and methamphetamines, it was only a matter of time before people realized how to manufacture it,” Samuelson warned.

Area police agencies are on top of these changing drug trends, but arresting dealers only goes so far. Shatter’s appearance in Chautauqua County only reinforces the need for the area to do a better job treating drug addicts to reduce the demand for drugs. We know area officials have been working on the problem. Shatter showing up here should remind them solving the treatment problem that needs to happen sooner rather than later.

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