Synthetic drugs are available at gas stations, convenience stores, tobacco shops, head shops, other retail stores, and over the internet. Although marked “not for human consumption”, they are marketed as a “legal” high and generally not detected by drug tests.
The first of the two general categories of synthetics – synthetic cathenones – are stimulant/hallucinogens sold under the guise of “bath salts” or “plant food” with such names as “Ivory Wave”, “Purple Wave”, “Vanilla Sky” , or “Bliss”. These products bear absolutely no resemblance to what we normally think of as “bath salts” or “plant food” and come in small packages of one ounce or less. Synthetic cathenones are perceived to mimic cocaine, LSD, MDMA, and/or methamphetamine. Users have reported impaired perception, reduced motor control, distortion, extreme paranoia, and violent episodes.
The second general category of synthetics - synthetic cannabinoids – consist of plant material that has been sprayed/coated with psychoactive compounds (mixed with acetone) that mimic THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), but in many cases are far more potent and dangerous than marijuana. Sold under names such as “K2”, “Blaze”, “Red X Dawn”, they are labeled as “incense”, but bear no resemblance to legitimate incense products. Because synthetics present a significant problem in New Hampshire communities, there were a number of bills in 2014 seeking to ban or restrict their sale. Although none of the 2014 bills were able to address the complexity of the issue, SB 384 was amended to create a study committee to continue to work on the issue. Because New Futures is concerned about these substances, we will support the work of the study committee over the summer.
HOUSE BILL 1611. Adding products to the controlled drug act
HB 1611 was killed in the House.
HOUSE BILL 1446. Relative to synthetic marijuana
HB 1446 was referred to Interim Study in the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee.
SENATE BILL 384. Studying regulation and control of synthetics
SB 384 establishes a committee to study how to regulate and control synthetic drugs in new Hampshire passed both the House and Senate and is awaiting action by the Governor.