New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan called a state emergency on Thursday. Hassan authorized local health officials to quickly quarantine any and all synthetic marijuana. 44 residents of Manchester New Hampshire were hospitalized in only 24 hours following their use of a synthetic form of marijuana named Smacked in only 24 hours.
The governor released an official statement in which she said: “These products pose a serious threat to public health, especially to young people, and it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to combat the recent rash of overdoses.”
Manchester’s police chief David Mara told the press: “People are lethargic, have elevated heart rates, and seizures. He warned residents, especially young people that are using the drug that they do not really know what they are getting. He stated: “(T)here’s no FDA check, and it’s sold under the pretense of being potpourri” in the case of Smacked and similar synthetic pot products.
These marijuana products are sold under numerous different names and are collectively referred to as “spice.” Synthetic marijuana is quite often a potpourri-like blend of dried leaves and herbs sprayed with a mixture of chemicals created to imitate the more popular effects of marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient–THC.
Dr. Jose Montero, state public health director for New Hampshire, noted: “They keep changing it all the time, playing this game with the federal government to see what’s illegal and what isn’t. These are just psychotropic drugs.”
Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas stated: “It’s very important that individuals be made aware that use of this product poses serious and immediate danger to their personal health. We strongly recommend the public avoid any use of this product, and we will work with local police departments as quickly as possible to put the quarantine into effect.”
44 OD On Synthetic Marijuana