On Wednesday May 7, the Federal Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration entered Phat Stuff, a store located at 84 Main St. in Keene, N.H. in search of evidence of the sale of synthetic drugs, such as synthetic marijuana.

The Associated Press noted those who were warranted included manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of synthetic drugs in 25 states.

According to the FreeKeene website, Phat Stuff “has not sold synthetic drugs since mid-2013.”

The store which sells smoking materials, hand blown glass and sexual entertainment material is owned by Panos Eliopoulos. According to a public post on Phat Stuff’s official Facebook account, Eliopoulos stated that he was traveling when the DEA presented the warrant and entered the store. The conclusion of the post said, “Believe me that this blindsided us as much as you, but this will only be used as motivation to rebuild bigger and better.” Despite the DEA raid, the store re-opened at 2 p.m. on May 9, 2014.

The building where this store has been leased is owned by Senator Anthony “Andy” Sanborn, according to The Keene Sentinel. On the topic of drugs like marijuana, Sanborn, the alleged building owner, spoke at a Keene State College press conference on February 12, 2014, as reported in an earlier issue of The Equinox, where he stated that he did not support House Bill 492; the legalization of marijuana with government regulation. “I’m not anti [marijuana] at all. I don’t believe government should be in charge of the legalization of marijuana. I don’t believe the government should be regulating it, wholesaling it, manufacturing it, distributing it, taxing it,” Sanborn said.

According a post from FreeKeene.com, the official website of the Free Keene movement, they have learned that Phat Stuff is planning to make the store bigger and better than before. A blog post on the site stated on May 9, 2014, “activists chalked on the sidewalk in front of Phat Stuff in protest of the DEA’s aggression and later gathered for a 420 in remembrance of lost liberties.”

The City of Keene banned the sale of synthetic marijuana in 2013. The Municipal Services, Facilities and Infrastructure meeting minutes of the meeting where the ordinance was made on Sept. 11, 2014 stated, “The Ordinance applies to the corporate

limits of the City of Keene. After adoption, it would be ordinance violation for the compounds listed in the ordinance to be present in the city in any way that was necessary in order to provide the fullest enforcement possible by the Police Department.”


Pamela Bump can be contacted at pbump@keene-equinox.com

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