Wisconsin weed penalties, Evers vetoes increase

Gov. Tony Evers on Friday vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have increased the penalties for making or distributing marijuana through a process that creates a highly concentrated version of marijuana known as butane hash oil.

Evers supports full legalization of marijuana and said he objected to creating additional penalties for marijuana use, which he said would be "another step in the wrong direction."

The Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association was the only group that registered in support of the measure, which was backed by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. Supporters argued that stronger penalties were needed to combat the use of the product often known as hash oil or honey oil.

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According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, the use of butane hash oil is not new but is gaining in popularity due to the wider legalization of marijuana. The extraction process is dangerous and often involves butane, an odorless gas that easily ignites.

The product created has a highly concentrated level of THC, the main active chemical in cannabis.

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