It’s been just about four months since the state of Connecticut has legalized marijuana and it’s looking like things are off to a troubling start. Just last week, state officials warned new cannabis smokers to be cautious about what they’re consuming after health officials reported the first documented case of fentanyl-laced marijuana in the country. This isn’t the first news of fentanyl-laced drugs, the powerful synthetic opioid, which can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, has also been tainting cocaine in Florida and party cities across the country.
CBS reports that Connecticut state officials have confirmed 39 opioid overdoses since July, all of which required treatment with naloxone. Each of the 39 patients denied consuming another drug besides marijuana in the four months prior to their overdose and, in one case, the Plymouth Police Department was able to secure a sample of the marijuana in question and submitted it for testing at a state laboratory where the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection found the cannabis tested positive for Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, marijuana, and fentanyl.
“This is the first lab-confirmed case of marijuana with fentanyl in Connecticut and possibly the first confirmed case in the United States,” said DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD in a press release issued last week.
It has not been reported whether the marijuana in these overdose incidents was obtained through a state-licensed clinic or illegally but the Connecticut Overdose Response Strategy team is currently suggesting anyone using substances obtained illicitly exercise increased caution, learn the signs of opioid overdose, and refrain from using alone and without naloxone on hand.