laced marijuana
laced marijuana

Did the US Just Have Its First Real Case of Fentanyl Laced Marijuana?

If this is the first real case of fentanyl tainted cannabis, why did it just happen now?

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Wednesday Dec 1, 2021

fentanyl weed


Is this the first case of fentanyl tainted marijuana in the US? If so, why?


For many years now, we have been warned about “fentanyl-tainted marijuana” showing up and killing you.  Of course, historically there has never been a single case of fentanyl-tainted cannabis…until now!


That’s right, the myth has finally come true and some anti-cannabis sheriff is probably sitting there pleasuring himself over the news. According to a Nov 15th Bulletin published in the New England HIDTA, there were 39 instances of patients who exhibited opioid overdose symptoms and needed naloxone – the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses – while the patients never reported any opioid use. They claimed that they had only smoked marijuana.


A large portion of the reports happened in Plymouth, Connecticut – where the police in fact did send some of the cannabis to test. According to the lab analysis, there was positive traces of fentanyl.


While this may be the first ever reported case of fentanyl-laced weed, there are many questions that this story brings up. We’ll be diving deeper into those questions and more importantly whether this could become a norm or not.


Why lace your pot with fentanyl?


Mixing weed with other drugs is not atypical. Many people have sprinkled some cocaine on their weed to give it a different feeling. This is commonly known as a “snow cap”. However, even when “snow-capping” your weed, you lose out on any perceived benefits since cocaine is difficult to vaporize and most of the effects are burnt off. This doesn’t mean that you don’t get some of the effects, which typically are more “spacey” as some people describe.


Nonetheless, many people do lace their weed with an assortment of drugs. When it comes to fentanyl, you can technically smoke it, but this is where dosing becomes difficult. Not to mention the same problem in dynamics with burning cocaine. Additionally, the onset is quick and many users don’t know how to react to this sudden increase of the effects of the opioid.


Considering that this is the first ever documented case of fentanyl-laced weed, it seems that the practice isn’t very popular. Perhaps it could even have been a one-time thing, an experiment gone awry.


Cross contamination?


Another theory about the fentanyl-laced weed is cross-contamination. It is very possible that the lab that tested the cannabis may have had a contaminated sample. Perhaps someone was handling fentanyl and then handled weed, perhaps someone was smoking fentanyl and then smoked weed – these are all questions that remain unclear.


This is also of concern for the health officials who would like to rule out the possibility of a “pattern” emerging. Of course, the case rate of this phenomenon is so low that a pattern of use seems highly unlikely.


However, the very fact that fentanyl could be laced with weed screams for legalization as the prohibition of drugs would have turned a relatively benign substance such as cannabis into a potential danger for unsuspected buyers of cannabis.


Why Fentanyl-Laced Weed is a case for regulation?


Let’s be clear about something, I’m not against someone lacing their weed with fentanyl. I would certainly NOT do anything of that nature, however I do believe is someone wishes to mix those substances and smoke it – they should totally be able to do so.


I would recommend this hypothetical person to not consume the two, but ultimately it would be within their freedom to choose what substances they introduce into their bodies.


However, I do believe that when you buy cannabis – you should not be surprised with fentanyl-laced weed. This is where legalization and regulation makes sense within the commercial marketplace. We know through years of legal cannabis in some states that having a regulatory body checking whether weed has mold or other contaminants on them is good practice.


It ensures that the end-user gets what they paid for and know that their products are as safe as possible for consumption. This technically should happen with all drugs, including heroin.


The Problem with the black market…


While the black market may be the purest expression of free market capitalism – in that it has no formal regulatory scheme – it does pose some problems for users. When you buy LSD on the black market, you are not sure that you are getting LSD.


You may be getting some newly cooked up chemical that is similar to LSD but has not really been tested on people. There are thousands of psychedelics that can be synthesized if you have books like PIHKAL by Alexander Shulgin and some general know-how about chemistry.


This means that black market chemists can cook up whatever they want in a lab, sell it to their suppliers who will eventually sell it to the end-user. Within this model, the only way the market can respond to a tainted batch of “whatever” is to stop purchasing from the source. However, by then many people may have been negatively affected.


Within a regulated system, certain standards need to be met to become commercially viable for mass consumption. Thus, within a regulated market you can address one of the biggest problems with recreational drug consumption – accidental overdoses.


The Problem with Full Drug Prohibition


Since there are no regulations for street drugs, people are subjected to the good graces of black market players. This makes drug consumption far more dangerous than the drug itself. Conversely, under a regulated market you’d not only have dose specific portions, but purity would be a major benefit.


Furthermore, under prohibition we don’t have any tax benefits. Meaning you don’t solve the problem of drug consumption and lose out on any financial benefits in the process.


We know for a fact that prohibition is incapable of stopping drug use, and now for the first time we have seen fentanyl-laced weed officially reported…it only goes to show that the real danger to society is the prohibition of drugs.


If we believe in an “inclusive” society, where we respect the individuality of a person’s identity – then surely recreational drug use also falls under this blanket of inclusivity.


If not for that, then the mere benefit of significantly reducing the risk of drug use should be more than enough of an argument to advocate the legalization of all drugs.








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