For the past few years, one of the greatest new-level propaganda schemes to come spewing from the mouths of local anti-marijuana squads is that fentanyl is being found in black market pot supplies. And while these claims have been mostly discounted, that hasn’t stopped leading White House officials from perpetuating the scam. It was just last week that one of President Trump’s leading experts on the opioid crisis warned that people who use marijuana should be afraid.
“People are unwittingly ingesting it,” said Kellyanne Conway, who serves as the administration’s czar on the opioid epidemic. “It’s laced into heroin, marijuana, meth, cocaine, and it’s also just being distributed by itself.”
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It is true that fentanyl is being used as an additive to black market dope supplies. There is evidence of it turning up in drugs from heroin to cocaine and even methamphetamine. This is happening, or so it has been said, because fentanyl, a substance that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, is a cheap way to cut these drugs. Yet, considering the bizarre drug mixtures found in the United States over the past year, chances are people are seeking out fentanyl-laced drugs to achieve a unique, speedball type of buzz.
But drug experts argue that no weed is being sold like this in the underground.
“It’s crazy that this story is coming out from our leaders,” Dan Ciccarone, an epidemiologist at University of California, San Francisco, said in an interview with BuzzFeed News. “It shows that concerns about fentanyl have reached the level of moral panic. Fear outweighs rational evidence. There is scant evidence for cannabis laced with fentanyl.”
If the White House is pushing the murderous marijuana narrative to scare the living bejeezus out of the American population, it’s a solid plan. The opioid crisis is a lean, mean killing machine, responsible for dumping somewhere between 45,000 and 70,000 bodies every year. Some of the latest statistics show that fentanyl is responsible for a significant chunk of the death toll. And it’s a problem that is growing and spiraling more out of control with every passing year.
But even the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a federal law enforcement agency that would love nothing more than to Make Marijuana Dangerous Again admits that fentanyl-laced marijuana is not something it has seen. Earlier this month, the DEA ‘s senior chemist, Jill Head, said a deadly drug mixture of this kind would contribute to a more cataclysmic death count than what the nation is presently witnessing. Marijuana is used by 22 million people across the United States.
So why is the White House lumping weed in with it fentanyl spiel? Well, it turns out that it is just pulling misinformation that was reported by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
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Last year, NIDA director Nora Volkow said: “Fentanyl is being used to lace a wide variety of drugs, including marijuana.” However, this claim was based solely on “anecdotal reports” from local police departments—none of which have been substantiated in any way. In fact, many of these reports were eventually determined to be false. The lesson here is we can’t trust police to be drug experts.
“There’s this mistaken belief that law enforcement are experts on the drugs they are seizing,” Northeastern University drug policy expert Leo Beletsky told BuzzFeed News. “That’s just not the case, and that’s part of the problem.”