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  • No proof of fentanyl-laced marijuana... yet

    I can understand the trepidation many parents must be feeling with the pending legalization of marijuana looming over their heads here in Canada; but to those looking to engage their teens in a DRUGS ARE BAD discussion, avoid losing your "street cred" by getting your facts straight ahead of time.

    Using scare tactics to try to discourage anyone from partaking in wacky backy, sticky icky, left-handed giggle smokes, can backfire over and above the usual rebellious reaction to do whatever they're told not to do. Not like I'd know anything about that, being the perfect teenager myself growing up. (Don't tell my mum I said that, k?) Seriously though, I grew up in the 70's and 80's... there were no lectures about the hazards of smoking pot and I was rarely inclined to do so, so it was all good.

    However, here we are now on the verge of pot legalization with the anti-weeders increasingly perpetuating false info in their campaigns to "nip this in the bud", so to speak.

    For example, a couple of years ago, rumours started circulating here in BC claiming that fentanyl had been found in marijuana. There was no evidence to back this up. Clearly it was just cleverly-placed propaganda designed to circulate like wildfire, and used as ammo by anxious, yet ill-informed, parents in the face of legalization. To date, I've seen no proof of fentanyl-laced marijuana here in BC. To be clear, I'm not saying it hasn't happened... but proof kind of helps the argument, doesn't it? Regardless, this is still something we need to be wary of. It could happen; but to date, there's no proof that it has.

    Here's what our (Canada's) Health Minister had to say about this fact just a couple of short months ago during a senate legal affairs committee discussion on Bill C-37: "There have in fact been rumours of the possibility of cannabis that has been laced with fentanyl. In fact there is zero evidence. Very important that everyone understands that, and we have confirmed this with chiefs of police, law enforcement officials across this country, there is zero documented evidence that ever in this country cannabis has been found laced with fentanyl. So it’s very important that we make sure that that message is clear." (the Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada's Health Minister)

    Remember, your kids have access to the internet too and for the most part can probably research this stuff quicker than the average adult. So I'm going to offer you this little tidbit of advice -- and this goes for any kids/teens reading this as well as parents/adults: there is increasing evidence that smoking pot before the age of 16 MIGHT adversely affect your brain. The details are a little more technical than that, but I'll leave that in your good hands to research for yourself. In short, it's reported to potentially result in lower IQ, impair memory, hamper decision-making skills, etc. More research needs to be done in this regard -- which the legalization of marijuana will help promote -- but in the meantime, I think this is the kind of info you might want to consider discussing with your family if you have concerns regarding their current or potential use.

    And, as with all things, if you can't present or even consider the pros to an issue, then your cons will probably be viewed as ill-informed, disrespectful and/or self-serving controlling tactics. I think this topic provides a great opportunity for healthy debate at all ages. Sure it can be a time bomb for either side, especially if there's an air of stubbornness and an attitude of infallibility, but it can be done.

    And if you're a teen approaching this subject, I strongly urge you to do your research first -- arm yourself with the pros and cons and then approach it in a mature fashion with your parent/s. Be prepared for an emotional response because that's what parents do when they give a flying you-know-what. Consider yourself lucky, smile, and listen to what they have to say. While all their facts might not be correct, up-to-date, etc. they do know stuff. Time goes by too quickly and before you know it you'll be old enough to make these decisions for yourself, legally. But for now, just focus on giving your developing brain the best possible fighting chance. You'll be glad you did.

    Here's some other articles, blogs, FAQS you might want to start with... and if you have other links you'd like to share on this topic (REAL FACTS please) feel free to post them in the comments.

    Philpott: No proof of fentanyl-laced marijuana in Canada - Mar 29, 2017
    Note: Good article but inaccurate on the reporting of another article that claimed "RCMP released a statement the same month saying they had found marijuana laced with fentanyl". The article, in fact, states just the opposite. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)

    Marijuana could contain fentanyl: RCMP - Feb 15, 2017
    Note: Emphasis on the word "could" with the RCMP Media Relations Officer admitting that "RCMP has not actually seized fentanyl-laced marijuana to date".

    Premier Clark's claim pot laced with fentanyl not true, say police - Nov 18, 2016

    Warnings about fentanyl-laced marijuana in the Southern Interior - Aug 13, 2015
    Note: An older article that itself disputes any evidence of fentanyl-laced marijuana anywhere in BC

    Marijuana and the developing brain - November 2015

    Starting age of marijuana use may have long-term effects on brain development - Feb 10, 2016
    Note: Some interesting points but again pay attention to "...MAY affect typical brain development" and "...MAY adversely alter brain structures..."