A District Attorney in Tennessee said that the state is seeing an influx of a deadly mixture: marijuana and fentanyl. Officials in the state are preparing to respond to this new trend as marijuana laced with fentanyl hits Tennessee.
Marijuana Laced With Fentanyl Hits Tennessee
Fentanyl is an especially potent—and dangerous—opioid pain medication. It is used in a variety of prescription painkillers and can be highly addictive. Beyond that, it can easily lead to fatal overdoses.
Now, according to Tennessee DA Matthew Stowe, law enforcement agents are discovering weed that’s been laced with fentanyl. He said that police started seeing the mixture show up in recent drug busts.
Stowe did not say where the drugs are coming from, but he said that some black market sellers are beginning to bring the product into the state.
“It’s absolutely being seen in Tennessee,” he told local sources. “It’s being seen in West Tennessee, it’s coming in in vast, vast quantities.”
Because fentanyl produces strong effects, Stowe fears that people looking for stronger highs will be drawn to the opioid-laced weed.
A Public Health Concern
Most of the concern comes from the fact that it is extremely easy to overdose on fentanyl. In fact, the opioid can be so deadly that it can injure or even kill people who don’t actually consume the drug, but who come into contact with it in other ways.
“Marijuana laced with fentanyl can be extremely deadly to anyone who touches it, tastes it, smokes it anything else of that nature,” Stowe said. “If it’s laced with fentanyl, marijuana can be the deadliest drug there is.”
After seeing fentanyl-laced weed show up in the state, authorities started prepping for a serious response. Narcotics investigators are being trained to deal with Level A hazardous materials.
Additionally, authorities have started spreading the word. According to Stowe, the goal is to warn people that fentanyl-laced weed is out there before people unknowingly buy and smoke it.
Final Hit: Marijuana Laced With Fentanyl Hits Tennessee
This most recent trend comes as the nation continues facing an opioid epidemic. Since the 1990s there has been a rapid increase in a number of opioids prescribed by doctors. This has led to an explosion in the number of people addicted to the drugs.
Often, that abuse leads to overdoses. Similarly, many end up addicted to heroin, which gives users a similar high but is often easier to get than prescription opioids.
Earlier this month, the White House Opioid Commission issued a new report. In it, the commission urged the President to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.