B.C. mayor tells ‘urban myth’ of teen dying from fentanyl-laced vape, apologizes

Lions Bay mayor Karl Buhr is apologizing for telling a false story about a teen’s death

A B.C. mayor is recanting a story he told at a recent village meeting about a high school student dying after vaping opioid-laced juice.

Lions Bay mayor Karl Buhr told a public meeting last month that his “son’s best friend” had died after taking a single hit from a vape that was laced with fentanyl, according to meeting records.

But it turns out the story he told was an “urban myth” he heard from his son, who attends Rockridge Secondary school.

“A kid who played on his soccer team and baseball team last year — his best friend — died yesterday after taking one hit from a vape that had fentanyl in it,” he said during the meeting on Jan. 23.

“Bought the juice, they call it, from a dealer at Rockridge. One hit fell down dead in front of his friends.”

Buhr is now apologizing for sharing the false story.

“You’d think even an amateur, small-town politician would know better than to repeat hearsay, because, upon further enquiry, I find that nothing happened at Rockridge, there was never laced vape juice, and what likely did happen was elsewhere and for other causes,” he said in a Feb. 2 bulletin posted on the village’s website.

READ MORE: More than 1,400 British Columbians died of an overdose in 2017

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Buhr said the rumour about the Rockridge student is possibly linked to the ongoing speculation following the death of 14-year-old Kyle Losse, whose parents told Black Press Media that Losse was found on the bathroom floor in their Delta home with a nicotine vape pen lying near his hand. However, a preliminary autopsy came back inconclusive as to what caused the death.

“There are a dozen versions [of the story] doing the rounds,” Buhr said.

Police and health officials have both dispelled the myth that marijuana is being laced with fentanyl in B.C., stating there have been no confirmation of any cases to their knowledge.

In fact, the B.C. Centre for Disease control has repeatedly told the public that there has been no evidence of fentanyl in illicit marijuana.

The most common mixtures of fentanyl include cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, according to the latest BC Coroners data.

Despite admitting that rumours of fentanyl-laced vapes are merely speculation, Buhr finished his apology with a proposal to ban vaping and marijuana smoking at Lion’s Bay beaches.

“I am too square to understand vaping’s cachet, starting with the fairly ludicrous sight of users enveloped in a dense cloud of vapour while clutching a replica lightsabre,” Buhr said.

“Hip or not, for the same reasons we ban tobacco smoking at our beach parks, this summer we think we need to add vaping (and toking if the Feds get their way).”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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