Wednesday, April 20, 2016

4kg of 90% pure W-18 seized in Alberta in December - Update II

On December 11, 2015 Edmonton Police raided 3 properties. One was in a rural subdivision near Beaumont, another was in southeast Edmonton and the third was in Red Deer County.
Police seized four kilograms of an unidentified white powder during a drug raid in Edmonton in December. The powder was sent to Health Canada for testing and the department’s laboratory confirmed roughly two weeks ago that the powder is 90 per cent pure W-18.

W-18 is a synthetic opioid 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.
Illicit fentanyl is largely a product of organized crime with its roots in Canada’s abuse of the prescription painkiller Oxycotin. The seizure of W-18 has raised serious questions among health-care experts about why it took a Health Canada lab four months to test the drugs and why officials at Alberta Health did not immediately issue a warning about the public health risks associated with what is shaping up to be the next, far more deadly street drug. The absence of real-time monitoring and emergency preparedness is a chronic deficiency across Canada. It has taken more than two years to even begin to recognize the deadly consequences of fentanyl.

Health Canada proposed in February 2016 to list W-18 in Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which would make it illegal except for authorized prescription use, similar to fentanyl and other opioids. At this time it is not illegal to possess or distribute W-18.
Palm Beach, March 22, 2016. : On Friday, a Miramar drug dealer was sentenced to ten years in prison for importing fentanyl, a powerful surgical painkiller that is sometimes cut into batches of heroin. The drug, which the dealer in question had imported from China, has been tied to scores of deaths in "heroin-heavy" cities like Detroit, Boston, and Newark as well as cities like West Palm Beach.

What was frightening about Friday's sentencing, however, was a detail that the dealer was not prosecuted for: the man was also carrying 2.5 pounds of W-18. In Miami-Dade County fentanyl deaths quadrupled between 2014 and 2015.

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