- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 17, 2014

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has issued a state of emergency in response to 44 reported overdoses linked to “Smacked,” a product similar to marijuana that is legal to sell in the state as potpourri.

At least 44 people have overdosed on the substance in the last week, and 20 of them have been hospitalized. There have been no reported deaths.

“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,” the governor said in a statement Thursday.

Generally referred to as “spice,” synthetic cannabinoids are chemically engineered substances similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, according to a press release. New Hampshire police are now working to encourage stores to remove the fake pot from their shelves.

“Retailers that continue to knowingly sell these dangerous or illegal products are placed on notice that they could be held responsible for harm caused to a user of the product,” Attorney General Joseph Foster said in the release.