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Smacked emergency: New Hampshire drug emergency after 44 overdoses on potpourri

Smacked, a synthetic marijuana sold as potpourri prompted a state of emergency in New Hampshire after 44 recent overdoses.
Smacked, a synthetic marijuana sold as potpourri prompted a state of emergency in New Hampshire after 44 recent overdoses.
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New Hampshire has declared a state of emergency after 44 reported overdoses have been seen in the state's hospitals of people who smoked or ingested Smacked. This Smacked is a product being sold in convenience stores as potpourri, but it is really a synthetic-like marijuana. It is sold under the label of potpourri, but the word is out and people are using it for different purposes today, according to the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 16.

Governor Maggie Hassan declared the state of emergency to pave the way for public health inspectors to investigate the stores that sell the product and then quarantine “Smacked” so that it won’t be sold. The Governor has directed the officials from the state to work in tandem with local police departments through this state of emergency.

According to Fox News, the majority of overdoses have been in and around the Manchester area and the Manchester Police have found the Smacked product in three convenience stores in the city. Those stores have had their business licenses revoked.

Governor Hanson feels that putting a state of emergency in place was the right battle plan against the war on this product. There’s been dozens of overdoses, but no one has died from this product yet. By getting Smacked off the store shelves in the city sooner rather than later, you have a better chance at the statistics remaining fatality free. Declaring a state of emergency allows officials to speed-up this process.

Massachusetts put a ban on the synthetic cannabinoids known as “Spice," which is just a different name for the same type of product. The product is either smoked or brewed in a tea, even though the products are identified as potpourri and incense.

The bubblegum flavored Smacked is of particular concern to health officials as several people recently going to the area hospitals overdosing on the substance had used that flavor of the product. This mirrors the problems that came with the “bath salt” product a few years back.

Sold in convenience stores in 2012, thousands of people found themselves in the hospital on this bath salt substance. One of the more notorious and disturbing cases to come out of the ingesting of bath salts was the man in Florida. This man actually ate the face off of a homeless man on a busy highway ramp in front of horrified and shocked passersby.

The man, who was later found to be on bath salts, would only stop this public act of cannibalism after he was shot four times and killed by police. He wouldn't stop as police held guns on him and ordered him to back away. He just kept concentrating on this horrendous act. That product was sold under the ploy of salts to put in your bath, just like Smacked is sold as potpourri.

The packets of the product sold as potpourri are sprayed with chemically engineered substances that are similar to tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. The chemicals in the bath salts were banned federally in 2012. New Hampshire was one of more than 40 states to adopt similar bans on the salts.

Joseph Foster, New Hampshire Attorney General, urged owners of the stores to pull the potpourri product from their shelves voluntarily. He also warned that if any harm came to someone who purchased the Smacked at their establishment they “could be held responsible.”

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