Oct 27, 2014 11:05 PM

Laconia, NH, officials propose "spice" ban amid overdoses, health emergency


LACONIA - The City Council in Laconia has introduced an ordinance that would ban the possession, sale and purchase of synthetic cannabinoids, also known as "spice" and "K2."

The product is a type of potpourii, and labels state it isn't for human consumption - but police say that's exactly what people in New Hampshire have been doing.

"People are always looking for an alternative, a new high, a new and improved high," said Laconia Police Chief Chris Adams. "And this is an alternative that's legal, not expensive and they take a chance at consuming it."

The City of Manchester recently had it's own issues with synthetic marijuana.

Police there say numerous variety stores were selling the product to users throughout the city. And although it isn't illegal to sell in the state yet, officials say it doesn't erase the effects it has had on users.

Over 40 people were rushed to the hospital in Manchester back in August after overdoses were caused by a "bad batch" of spice that came out in August.

The incidents prompted New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan to declare a public health emergency, as she called for stores to take it off their shelves.

Laconia Police say they haven't found any stores selling it in their community just yet, but that there is a spice presence in the city - and it is becoming an issue.

"During the large number of overdoses in Manchester we had about a half-dozen here in our community, it's unknown if that spice came from the Manchester area or if it was from here," Chief Adams said.

The proposed ordinance, which can be read here, passed a first reading in a 6-0 vote. Now, it goes to a second reading on Nov. 10 as the City Council opens up the floor for public comment on the proposed ban.

Contact Multimedia Journalist Tyler Dumont via email at tdumont@NH1.com and follow him on Twitter @NH1_Tyler.


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