The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

April 21, 2010

Pot bust: Baked goods and buzzed butter

Marijuana-laced spread said to be particularly potent

MANKATO — There’s a reason those brownies were so heavy, man. It was the buzz-inducing butter.

Mankato police were called to Land of Memories Park at about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday by an anonymous tipster who said several people were using drugs.

 When officers arrived, they found what aromatically challenged people might have considered a picnic.

Ten brownies and six loaves of banana bread, all individually wrapped in aluminum foil, were found in one of two cars that were checked. A cup-size plastic container of greenish butter was with the baked goods.

The officers eventually learned the brownies and bread had been made with marijuana-laced butter. The tub of greenish butter, which has a very strong smell, was apparently brought along to give the bread some extra flavor and kick.

“I think we knew pretty early on what was going on,” said Mankato police  Cmdr. Amy Vokal. “We’ve always heard about this, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen it.”

There are dozens of websites that describe ways to make marijuana butter. The websites claim the butter extracts THC, the chemical in marijuana that creates a high, so the mixture can be very potent.

Only one man, 25-year-old Christopher Sean Prodoehl of New Ulm, was taken into custody and felony charges are being requested. Others could be facing charges later, Vokal said.

“We believe it was designed for sale because of the way the brownies were packaged and other things found in the car,” she said.

A small amount of unbaked marijuana, drug paraphernalia, sandwich baggies and a scale were found in the car.

April 20, or “420,” has become a popular day for marijuana users to celebrate. According to urban legend, it started with a group of California teenagers who used to meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana.

Vokal said her co-workers are good at making treats disappear when someone brings in a plate of goodies to share. So extra precautions were taken with the confiscated baked goods.

“The officer who brought them in (Tuesday) put a big sign on them saying, ‘Do not eat these,’” she said.

The suspects evidently weren’t counting calories. A pair of rubber gloves Vokal was wearing as she displayed the brownies and bread were covered with a greasy glaze when she was done. As a whole, the food and butter tub weighed several pounds.

The extra butter might weigh against the suspects if they are charged. A recent Minnesota Supreme Court ruling said authorities could include the weight of bong water to increase drug charges, which can be more serious with a higher weight. Vokal said she suspects the same rule will apply to the butter.

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