Not only is the federal government still trying to convince American’s youth that marijuana is a gateway drug, but also that it is laced with dangerous opioids that can prove fatal. This is what Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar told a group of Millennials earlier this week at the White House. He says black market shenanigans have allowed marijuana to become one of the leading culprits in the opioid epidemic.
“These are very sophisticated operators, and they are lacing other illegal drugs with fentanyl to get you hooked on opioids and bring you into their system,” Azar said in response to a question regarding marijuana being equally as dangerous as prescription drugs. “Marijuana laced with fentanyl, all kinds of other products laced with fentanyl.”
What is true is that fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid that packs a punch around 50 times stronger than heroin. It a prescription drug, which is often used to treat cancer patients who are experiencing severe pain. It was designed to quickly take the edge off for those patients suffering through the worst of the worst. Of course, fentanyl has found its way into the black market, but because of its high potency, tens of thousand of people all over the United States have reportedly died as a result of an overdose.
Reports suggesting that marijuana-laced fentanyl was on the rise began to surface last year. But that didn’t turn out to be the case. What was happening is that coroners in places like Ohio, which has been rocked by opioid addiction, were finding traces of marijuana in the corpses of people who died from opioid overdoses. Come to find out that the user(s) had consumed the two substances separately. But the initial reporting suggested that the mixture might be the latest trend in the arena of street drug commerce.
To date, there are no confirmed cases involving marijuana-laced fentanyl. In fact, if this is happening at all, it is by the users own volition. This is not something that dealers are pushing.
In ways, the stories of marijuana being dosed up with fentanyl are similar to the latest horror show involving bizarre drug mixtures, including marijuana, spice and banana leaves being doused in household bug spray.
Since the days of pot-laced with PCP, drug users have pushed the limits in search for new, interesting highs. But not even the most ruthless dope pushers are out there slinging potentially fatal products to unsuspecting customers. This practice would not be good for business.
Even representatives of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration admit that fentanyl-laced marijuana is not a thing. “In regard to marijuana, I’m not familiar with that,” DEA spokesman Melvin Patterson told the Cincinnati Enquirer. At the time of the interview, he hadn’t seen any cases of this, but admits, “There could be.”