Prosecutor Says Prince Unknowingly Took Fentanyl He Thought Was Vicodin

After two years, prosecutors and police in Minnesota have wrapped up their investigation into Prince’s death, declaring that the late pop star unknowingly took fentanyl he thought was Vicodin and that no criminal charges will be brought in relation to his accidental overdose.

Carver County Attorney Mark Metz said at a press conference announcing his findings that neither Prince nor anyone close to him knew that Prince was taking fentanyl and not Vicodin. They were also unable to determine where he got the counterfeit pills, and so without a suspect or a motive, there’s no criminal charges to bring.

I thought it was weird that people were selling fentanyl as Vicodin, so I did a little digging into why. I had assumed that because fentanyl was so much stronger than opiods, it would be more expensive, but that turns out to not be the case. Fentanyl is much cheaper to produce than opiods, and because it’s so much stronger, you can use much less of it. So the reason it’s been cut into heroin and sold as Vicodin on the black market is that it turns out drug dealers are somewhat unethical. Who would have thought, right?

Today also saw Minnesota doctor Michael Todd Schulenberg agree to pay a $30,000 fine for improperly prescribing oxycodone to Prince under the name of friend the singer’s friend Kirk Johnson. According to Time, Schulenberg’s attorney gave a statement maintaining his innocence.

“After he learned of Prince’s addiction, he immediately worked to refer Prince to a treatment facility and to transfer care to a chemical dependency specialist,” Conners said.

She said Schulenberg decided to settle to avoid the expense, delay, and unknown outcome of litigation, and that “he made no admission of facts nor liability and denies any such liability.”

I want to end this story as I do every story about the ongoing opioid crisis by mentioning that no one in the history of the world has died from a cannabis overdose. Prince suffered from chronic pain and the treatment of that pain, under the care of doctors, led to him becoming addicted to opioids which in turn lead to his death by overdose. In a sane world where marijuana is legal, Prince could have safely used it to treat his chronic pain. But while a doctor can prescribe any number of opiates for pain in Minnesota, they can’t prescribe or even recommend pot. If you’re looking for someone to blame for Prince’s death, blame the people who started and continue to wage America’s insane war on drugs.

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