Cannabis Laced with Fentanyl Is Not Real, Cannabis Laced with Fentanyl Is Not Real, Cannabis Laced with Fentanyl Is Not RealJuly 29, 2022
In the last two years, between some anti-cannabis information outlets and law enforcement, some scary stories have been brought up in the news regarding ‘fentanyl-laced marijuana.’ Still, its authenticity has never been confirmed by lab testing.
IS THERE REALLY FENTANYL-LACED WEED?
Leafy (NASDAQ:LFLY) took on a six-month research project and explored claims of fentanyl-laced marijuana.
Leafy stated that a lot of their readers are adult marijuana consumers or medical cannabis patients and went on to say that if their readers would be in serious danger from using any marijuana-related products, they intend to inform them about it.
Leafy added that the lie stemmed from three sources: Police departments with incentives to promote local fear, faulty on-site drug testing kits, and news reporters who fail to enquire, follow up on, or investigate the claims of the police.
For a fact, Fentanyl traces have been discovered only in one marijuana sample on U.S. soil, which was just one in forty claimed cases in Connecticut, where it was admitted by a state public health leader that the case might be the first confirmed one in the United States.
Harm reduction specialists claim that even if cannabis was dusted with fentanyl, it is not likely to kill a consumer because of the lower temperature in which fentanyl burns up compared to marijuana.
WebMD also stated that this is a myth. MD and chief medical officer at American Addiction Centers declared that thus far, there is no scientific data to back the assumption that fentanyl-laced cannabis is causing widespread fatalities.
According to OHRN (the Ontario Harm Reduction Network), there haven’t been any lab-confirmed cases of fentanyl-laced marijuana. OHRN added that cannabis has a low-profit margin while fentanyl has a high-profit margin.
Moreover, the high potential for deadly overdose that fentanyl holds makes it a poor option for creating reliance. The thought that they would promote addiction does not have weight because of the lethality of fentanyl. That truly is a myth, added Weinstein.
Furthermore, testing positive for both cannabis and fentanyl does not necessarily mean that you have consumed fentanyl-laced marijuana.
In some cases, it is more probable that the person may also test positive for fentanyl or other substances. Fentanyl is much more predominant in being used to cut opioids. It does not mean that fentanyl cannot be used to lace other substances, but based on likelihood and frequency, other substances are most likely what someone would need to be tested for, concluded Weinstein.
THIS IS WHAT A DRUG PANIC RESEMBLES
To try and make you understand how these claims get into the minds of the public, look at the two recent instances.
A man in the area of Park City, Utah, phoned the cops on the morning of May 27, 2022, complaining that he had experienced a negative health reaction after using marijuana. The Summit County Sheriff’s Department stated that after testing the marijuana, the deputies believed the weed had been laced with the fatal narcotic ‘Fentanyl.’
The deputies presented the results of the field tests as proven truth. What they failed to explain is how infamously unreliable drug testing kits are, to the point where even in court, they are not admissible. Widespread evidence indicates that these tests often cause false positives, according to the findings of a New York Times/ProPublica examination into American field drug tests.
Regardless of that fact, the Summit County Sheriff’s office put out a public-alarm tweet and issued a press release on how the man was afflicted after taking weed laced with fentanyl.
And the news stations in Jacksonville, Salt Lake City, Tulsa, Seattle, Miami, New York, San Antonio, and Orlando quickly intensified the claim. Almost all of them told the same story, which was a rewrite of the press release of the Summit County Sheriff published by the Cox Media Group National Desk.
If history is any indication, we should anticipate the Summit County Sheriff’s Department to covertly retract its claim that marijuana in the county had been laced with fentanyl in the coming months when a state crime lab’s careful review invalidates the results of the original field test.
The retraction by the Sheriff’s department probably won’t even get a press release or a follow-up tweet. And rather than write a follow-up story, the Cox Media Group National Desk will swiftly jump on the next headline that has to do with weed laced with fentanyl.
A HISTORY OF FALSE CLAIMS OF FENTANYL
False reports of “fentanyl-laced cannabis” have been around for a while. And in 2016 and 2017, Leafly started compiling these unfounded reports. They are constantly terrifying in theory but have never been confirmed to exist, much like the fear of razor blades in Halloween candy bars.
Here are a few instances where state and federal officials are igniting fears about weed laced with fentanyl without proof. The fentanyl-laced cannabis urban legend continues to grow along the lines of Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster.
July 2018: A National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) representative stated in a lecture that Fentanyl is being used for lacing a wide variety of drugs, including marijuana. When challenged with evidence, the office cited a Vancouver police report from 2015 that had been refuted in 2016.
JUNE 2019: According to the Associated Press, after lab tests revealed that there was no fentanyl in the marijuana, a sheriff in upstate New York backed back his remarks.
In all the instances above, the officials of the state failed to find even one victim of fentanyl-laced cannabis or a single lab test that definitively corroborated the existence. Some departments have taken back their statements, but other news outlets and authorities keep on spreading this foolhardy myth.
The fact remains that the adulteration of some medications with fentanyl poses a serious and lethal problem because it can be abused or taken in excessive amounts. However, cross-contamination isn’t a significant concern to marijuana users, according to scientists. In my opinion, anti-cannabis news outlets and law enforcement continue to spread these false claims simply because of or to fuel the age-old stigma against cannabis so as to instill fear that will deter people from consuming cannabis.