New Hampshire Declares State of Emergency Over Synthetic Marijuana

Forty-four people in the Manchester, New Hampshire area have reportedly overdosed since August 11 after using a synthetic drug called “Smacked” that is supposed to imitate marijuana. In response, the state’s governor Maggie Hassan has declared a state of emergency. While none of the overdoses have been been fatal so far, three convenience stores selling the product have had their business licenses revoked as a result of the overdose emergency.

Smacked, sold as potpourri in packets, is made from herbs that have been sprayed with “chemically engineered substances” that supposedly mimic THC (tetrahydrocannabinol—the active ingredient in weed), NBC reported. The state of emergency gives state health officials the authority to open investigations of any vendors selling Smacked, and quarantine the product.

The decision to make the emergency declaration may have been influenced by the Southern California teen who died last week after reportedly taking just one hit of the synthetic pot product K2.

Chemically engineered marijuana imitations, often called “spice,” have caused health issues and been linked to deaths several times in the past couple of years. Last December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked illnesses in more than 200 people to two different chemical pot products. One of those products was also linked to illnesses reported in Georgia last August.

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.