Seized pot not laced with fentanyl after all, Makah police chief says

PORT ANGELES — Seized marijuana that was suspected of being laced with fentanyl did not contain the powerful synthetic opioid, Makah Public Safety Director and Police Chief Jasper Bruner said Thursday.

Officers believed the marijuana was laced with fentanyl after an initial field test Sept. 15.

The marijuana tested negative for fentanyl in a test conducted at the State Patrol Crime Lab, Bruner said.

After the initial test, the Makah Tribal Police Department issued a notice about the suspected fentanyl. The alert was widely circulated online.

Bruner said he did not know why the initial field test would indicate that the marijuana contained fentanyl.

“I talked with the lab tech, and she couldn’t get me an official answer except that it was a broad-spectrum test,” Jasper said.

Fentanyl can be 50 times stronger than heroin.

“Definitely keep your eye out for it,” Jasper said in a telephone interview.

“Fentanyl is so dangerous. We’re always looking for it, along with the other drugs like heroin and everything else.”

Law enforcement officials at other North Olympic Peninsula agencies told the Peninsula Daily News last week that they were unaware of any confirmed reports of fentanyl-laced marijuana in the region.

The Drug Enforcement Agency Seattle Field Division, which covers the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, had not seized any fentanyl-laced marijuana.

While marijuana is legal in Washington state, it remains illegal on tribal reservations. Tribes operate under federal law.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Reporter Jesse Major contributed to this report.

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