Spice, potpourri, synthetic marijuana – it goes by multiple nicknames, but it's all essentially the same thing — fake pot. It's sprayed with THC-like chemicals to get the user high and because it's marketed as incense, it's easy for kids to get it.
And ingesting the fake pot is responsible for more than 40 overdoses in New Hampshire just in the past week.
In a statement, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan 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. ... I have declared a State of Emergency so that we can move quickly to stop the sale of this dangerous substance that has caused an outbreak of serious overdoses."
The state of emergency comes after a six-month investigation into the drug and a store owner who sold it. A 17-year-old smoked the drug which was bought from that particular store and had to be hospitalized.
Pelham, New Hampshire police then arrested the store owner, Christopher Matte. He was then charged with two counts felony sale of drugs.
According to Boston.com, local police had asked Matte to put a hiatus on the sale of the drug, which can be smoked or brewed into a tea, while they conducted the investigation.
But local police say Matte continued to sell the substance — hiding it behind the counter and using code names.
After he was busted by an undercover officer, the store was raided. More than 100 bags were found along with about $7,000 in cash.
To learn more, watch this Newsy video.