Wednesday , 17 September 2014
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Synthetic Marijuana Leads to State of Emergency

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In New Hampshire, Governor Maggie Hassan has declared a state of emergency. This comes from a reported 44 cases of overdosing on a synthetic marijuana known as “Smacked”.

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The product can often be found sold in convenience stores disguised at potpourri. The substance is an herbal mix, similar to potpourri, which is sprayed with a chemically engineered substance similar to the main ingredient of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol.

The state of emergency status gives public health officials to investigate stores and remove the product from stock. As per the governor’s instructions, the public health officials are working in conjunction with the local police departments on the matter.

The majority of cases have been reported in the Manchester area, where just Wednesday 3 area stores were found carrying Smacked. These businesses have been shut down and their licenses revoked.

Attorney General Joseph Foster has been urging store owners to pull any of these harmful products from their shelves voluntarily, as they could be held responsible for any harm that comes to consumers who use the product.

Officials are especially concerned over the bubble gum flavoured version of Smacked which has proven to be particularly harmful. Several cases taken to local hospitals have been due to the bubble gum variety of the drug.

Officials have compared the popularity of the new drug to that of bath salts, which made headlines in 2012 when thousands were hospitalized due to the product.

A federal ban on the compounds used in synthetic marijuana products, as well as bath salts, has been in place since 2012, however, the laws have proven difficult to enforce. Drug makers have found that they can make slight modifications to the chemical makeup of the drug so that it does not fall under the ban’s qualifications.

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