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Goffstown officials warn of the dangers os synthetic marijuana

GOFFSTOWN — School and law enforcement officials are making parents aware of the dangers of synthetic marijuana after two possible incidents in the past two weeks.

Goffstown High School has experienced two occasions of students suspected of using synthetic marijuana and needing medical care as a result over the past two weeks, according to a joint press release from the school district, police department and fire department.

Police chief Robert Browne said the release was sent out as a message for parents to be aware of what’s out there and to talk to their children.

One of the things parents should watch for is the hookah pen, which is similar to an e-cigarette. Problems can occur when the pen is used with synthetic marijuana, also packaged as incense, or with extremely large concentrations of tobacco, Browne said.

The legality of the hookah pen should not fool parents about the risks associated with it, Browne said.

Although he hasn’t seen the official report, Browne said he understood that in one case at the high school a student experienced cold sweats and said he was not feeling well before passing out, leading to concern of a cardiac event.

Police are investigating the source of the substances in the incidents.

Meanwhile, many communities are struggling with regulation of these types of substances.

“From a law enforcement standpoint it’s difficult to enforce,” Browne said.

As soon as legislation regulating a substance comes out, manufacturers change the chemical compound and put the product back on the market, he said.

“Parents are largely unaware of this new problem,” superintendent Brian Balke said in a press release. “Kids can buy these dangerous, unregulated substances at the local convenience store.”

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