Live free or die. It's the New Hampshire motto, and one that is oddly appropriate in the wake of dozens of "synthetic marijuana" overdoses this week: if real, safe cannabis that has never, ever caused an overdose was legalized, these lab-made junk chemicals being passed off as a pot alternative wouldn't be in demand.
Yesterday, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan officially declared a state of emergency after more than 44 people were hospitalized after smoking chemicals commonly called "synthetic marijuana" purchased at convenience stores under the name "Smacked".
Smacked seems to be an appropriate name for this crap, which began sickening people Wednesday and came to full-force on Thursday. It sounds less like cannabis and more like bad heroin, according to police.
"You drive by any of the parks now in the last couple of days, and you see people who are absolutely lethargic, passed out. It's very hard to get a response," Sgt. Brian O'Keefe of the Manchester Police Department told local KFOR4.
Police say they have found at least three convenience stores selling the bubblegum flavored ground-up plant material sprayed with chemicals that likely have nothing in common with actual THC. Owners of the shops say "traveling salesmen" often come in with cases of the stuff to sell illegally. The three stores caught selling "smacked" had their licenses revoked.