Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana Warning Issued In Upstate New York

The sheriff urged anyone who uses marijuana in the state of New York to be careful.

Close-up of a person lighting a joint with marijuana inside
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The sheriff urged anyone who uses marijuana in the state of New York to be careful.

The Oneida County’s Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook on Friday to confirm an individual in possession of marijuana laced with fentanyl has been arrested.

Sheriff Robert Maciol issued a word of caution to anyone who uses marijuana in Oneida County as it terrified him to know fentanyl-laced cannabis was lingering on the streets of New York.

“With fentanyl laced marijuana now confirmed to be in New York State, I am extremely concerned for the safety of anyone using marijuana. Everyone needs to be aware that the potential of getting fentanyl laced marijuana is possible and the side effects can be deadly. We have seen the tragic results of what heroin and fentanyl mixed together can do and I fear for what will be happening now that it’s being mixed into marijuana,” the sheriff penned in his statement attached to the Facebook post.

According to the CDC, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid typically prescribed to treat extremely severe pain often stemming from advanced forms of cancer. Fentanyl can be anywhere from 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine is.

The CDC, however, clarifies that most of the recent injuries, overdoses, and fatalities related to the opioid in the United States have been traced back to fentanyl that was made and sold on the streets as opposed to being prescribed by a doctor and picked up at a pharmacy.

In the drug world, it is common for illegally made fentanyl to be used to lace heroin and cocaine to give the user an extreme feeling of euphoria. In many cases, the user is unaware of the fentanyl and at a much higher risk of overdosing.

According to the Oneida County’s Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page, experts believe fentanyl is connected to overdose fatalities all over the United States. The sheriff’s office also confirms that mixing the drug with marijuana is a newer practice, but the results can be just as fatal.

“In 2017, 60% of the opioid related deaths in the United States involved fentanyl as compared to 14% in 2010,” the sheriff’s office added.

In the 24 hours since Oneida County first issued the warning on Facebook, the post has been shared nearly 400 times with just shy of 80 comments.

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Many of the individuals leaving comments expressed skepticism as they didn’t understand how it would be cost effective for a dealer to lace marijuana with something as expensive as fentanyl. These individuals questioned if it was possible the sheriff’s office just issued the warning to try to scare people away from using marijuana.

The top comment with the most reactions and replies responded to the skepticism pointing out that dealers lace their produce with opioids such as fentanyl to make them more addicting. In doing so, the dealer assures their customer comes back for more products.