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DHS, local addiction counselor see concern over meth-laced marijuana in region

Jay Hepperle, the assistant principal at Dickinson High School, said his top concern is the safety and well-being of his students. This is why, following a tip, he wants the word out about a reported new drug combination in the area that has the ...

There have been reports that meth dealers are lacing their product into marijuana as an attempt to get more people addicted to it, which is concerning to some local authorities. Thinkstock Image
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Jay Hepperle, the assistant principal at Dickinson High School, said his top concern is the safety and well-being of his students.

This is why, following a tip, he wants the word out about a reported new drug combination in the area that has the potential to cause unforeseen harm.

Hepperle said the school has received information from a “really reliable source” that marijuana laced with methamphetamine could be in or coming into the community, and could fall into the hands of students and others who believe that it is ordinary marijuana.

This, he said, is cause for concern.

“Obviously when we get that information, we want to make sure that our kids are safe,” he said.


Jan Kuhn, a licensed addiction counselor and owner of Sacajawea Substance Abuse Counseling in Dickinson, said the concern about was meth-laced marijuana was real from what she has come across in her business.

Kuhn said there appears to be a link with this reported new drug combination and the oil slowdown in the region.

“There has been concern among dealers that they’re losing their methamphetamine financial base when the oil rig workers go away because those are the people that were their best customers, the ones that had to be up all time,” she said.

The aim of lacing the meth into the marijuana, Kuhn said, is for dealers to get pot smokers -- even high school kids -- addicted and become “lifetime users” of meth.

Even just a small amount of the drug combination is enough to get people addicted to meth, she said.

“You get hooked right away,” Kuhn said. “This is like smoking cigarettes, only 10 times 10.”

Though Kuhn said the sources from whom she’s heard this information are confidential, she said the threat “is alarming enough to alert people.”

However, she said she has had clients in her office that have become addicted to meth from smoking laced marijuana.


Kuhn said she has contacted local health care centers to be on the lookout for and test individuals with meth-like symptoms, especially if patients say the only drug they’ve done recently is marijuana.

Capt. Dave Wilkie of the Dickinson Police Department, however, said his department has not yet come in contact with any cases or evidence suspected of involving the reported drug combination.

Kuhn said one of the factors that could potentially bring about real issues is the relatively benign image that young people see in marijuana.

“They have come to the conclusion that, with all the information that is positive about weed ... this is a safe drug,” she said.

It is not like in Colorado, Kuhn said, where legalized marijuana is tested and regulated. All the weed that comes into North Dakota does so illegally, she said, and one can never be totally certain of its contents no matter how much they trust their dealer.

“I just want to keep our kids safe,” she said.

Hepperle said the school always uses the utmost caution when it hears of a possible threat to a student’s health or education.

Though he said the school has not yet come across this specific problem, Hepperle said the information it has received serves as an opportunity to educate students and parents about the possibilities resulting from choices that students make.


“Even if there’s a possibility of it being true, we want to make sure that we educate our kids that it’s a possibility and, more than anything, to keep their safety as the No. 1 priority,” he said.

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