Kellyanne Conway, the presidential counsellor suggests that cannabis is laced with fentanyl.
“People are unwittingly ingesting it,” Conway said during a press conference in a discussion about fentanyl. “It’s laced into heroin, marijuana, meth, cocaine and it’s also just being distributed by itself.”
Kellyanne, a chief player in the Trump administration has it all wrong. Though fentanyl has been discovered in illegal drugs such as cocaine, pills, meth and heroin, there have been no reports or identification of cannabis laced with the potentially dangerous opioid.
When Conway was confronted regarding the misinformation, she resorted to defence and quoted the words of Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), from a speech he made last year, in which the scientist and psychiatrist claimed that fentanyl was being used to lace an array of drugs including marijuana.
NIDA refers to an “anecdotal report” from the Vancouver police in 2015 which claimed that cannabis users were getting killed by smoking fentanyl-laced flower. However, there were no proper evidence found which backed up the claims made by the police the following year.
While cannabis has been discovered in the user’s system in times of fatal overdoses, it was never solely responsible or an individual contributor to the harmful after math. It was rather the lethal combination of drugs consumed that triggered fatal conditions.
A lead chemist at the U.S. Durg Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently confirmed that fentanyl has not been identified in any of the cannabis that the federal agency has seized and nor the DEA could confirm any such instances where fentanyl was found in cannabis.
But the scaremongering didn’t stop. In March 2018, Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services tried to convince millennials at a White House event that weed is part of the opioid crisis.
“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. Marijuana laced with fentanyl, all kinds of other products laced with fentanyl”, said Azar.
Some experts also believe that the drug test strips are able to detect fentanyl in cannabis owing to their extremely sensitive ability to detect the drug to one billionth of a gram which is generating “false positives”.
Drug dealers who handle both cannabis and fentanyl could easily inadvertently transfer a micro amount of fentanyl to cannabis. But an expert says that the positive samples include negligible traces of the drug which is of no significant importance clinically. Also, these fragments are insufficient to produce any substantive effects on the user which ensures that there is nothing to worry about.
Another confusion lies between cannabis and “synthetic cannabis” aka K2 or Spice, which is misleading people into believing that it is cannabis and thus creating severe apprehensions about the substance. It is designed to look almost like cannabis, however is extremely harmful and dangerous for human consumption.
Users with large scale overdoses of the K2 or Spice drug have resulted in contradictory reports from first patients regarding the presence of fentanyl in the K2 or Spice drug. And with the ever changing concentration of the drug, it is almost becoming impossible to determine a correct value for the substance.