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Macomb County Signs Order Banning K2 Sales

Businesses in violation of the order could face misdemeanor charge punishable by up to six months in jail or a maximum $200 fine.

Macomb County officials signed an order Monday prohibiting businesses from selling K2 while also launching a public program to curb the synthetic drug's distribution.

"This is a serious problem. It's not going to go away and it's time to take action," said Macomb County Health and Community Services Director Steve Gold before signing the order with county Executive Mark Hackel. 

Spice must immediately be removed from shelves

Under the order, businesses that sell K2, also known as Spice, or any other synthetic drug could face a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to six months in jail or a $200 fine.

"Our middle schoolers and our high schoolers are getting their hands on this synthetic marijuana," Sheriff Tony Wickersham said. "Macomb County doesn't want this type of stuff in our community. We need to protect our youths."

The order falls under a Michigan public health code act that's used for imminent danger, such as serious diseases, said Gold, adding that it has not been used for legally sold merchandise.

But Hackel says he's not worried about the potential legal challenges to enforcing the order.

"There's always a challenge to the law," he said. "It's about being bold and being right."

He stressed that the county cannot sit on the sidelines while .

The county officials, along with state representatives and other local leaders, held the news conference to announce the K2 ban at the Mobile gas station on North Avenue and 21 Mile in Macomb Township. 

Unlike many other gas stations and party stores, the business repeatedly turned away K2 distributors since they began pushing for retailers to stock shelves in 2009 because of the , owner Nader Jawad said.

Citizens can become K2 Kops

The county also launched a program Monday aimed to involve the public. Under the initiative, a citizen can report establishments that sell K2 or any synthetic drug by visiting www.markhackel.com. Reported businesses may then be inspected by a health official and officer who will verify the complaint. If violating the order, the owner could then be charged with a misdemeanor or fined and the drug will be confiscated.

Owners who voluntarily remove Spice from the shelves can register their businesses on the website, declaring they do not sell the drug. They can also download a window sign showing their participation.

Hackel says he hopes public pressure motivates retailers to stop selling Spice.

"Personally, if I see that there is a place that is selling this product in their store, I wouldn't even buy a stick of gum," he said.

The county action is coming after K2 opponents have been pushing for a ban across the state. In Macomb County, . An initiative to ban Spice in the township has been put on hold in light of the Monday's order that will affect all Macomb County communities, including Shelby, township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said.

Stathakis said that the township alone has approximately 250 parents and citizens dedicated to stopping Spice from being sold.

"We're on the look out, we're watching and we will do what we need to do to make sure this goes away," he said.

Matt Guarnieri June 08, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti..... I saw a news program last night.... they are raising prices and selling out of the stuff..... Just nothing to do, can't ever stop crazy people from being crazy. I just want those under 18 to have a tougher time getting access to all harmful substances.
Dave June 08, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Jeff .. you're a little hard on the parents here aren't ya? I agree prohibition doesn't work and never has. If it were up to me drug stores would sell drugs and gas stations would sell gas and convience stores would sell convience items. Put all drugs into the drugstores and allow people to purchase this stuff or anything else that a legitimate drug store would sell. Anyone think a real drug store would touch this poison? So, no Jeff..i can't put the blame on the parents when stores are allowed to sell products not for human consumption as if they were safe synthetic anything. I have to blame the store owners seeing the deception that has been what they were selling.. not an incense or bath salt. And knowing how addictive this poison is.. i still have to blame the stores and the manufacturers for purposely making it addictive. I could spray some nicotine on a handfull of lawn clippings and make it so you'd get high and addicted too. But that would kill people.. that's why i don't.. cause it's illegal. Now as for this going straight into the black market.. what's preventing it from being in the black market now? Nothing.. they can make it in the store basement if they wanted, and i'm willing to bet they have a supply ready to sell out the back door or their homes. I guarantee you they planned this to be banned once they built up their customer base of addicts. Only kids would of bought this crap even on the black market. Now they got em, now they can go dark.
Dave June 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
tobacco store on cass kyle.. called smokers only. Don't know if they got any left but they were selling it yesterday. Call em! You guys know that you're not looking at the problem either... blaming the parents or even teachers or the kids peers isn't appropriate in this situation. Blame the manufacturers who purposely falsely marketed dangerous addictive narctotics to our children. Then blame the parents for not paying any attention after their kids were already addicted. I hardly believe any of the parents were asked for money to go to the store to buy this stuff on the kids first trip to the store. Nope.. the entire world was fooled by calling this drug synthetic marijuana and marketing it as a safe alternative to an illegal drug. WHICH IT'S NOT!! And i guarantee you that was no accident either... it's associated with weed for many more reasons than just tricking the kids.. they duped the DEA, local police agencies, some unknowing store owners as to the real dangers, and most importantly.. our government agencies which regulate the real marketplace. If we got to place blame.. i'm gonna blame the people who came up with this trillon dollar murder scheme. And yes they make more than a trillon a year worldwide with this poison. It'll have to be banned worldwide in order to even phase these criminals.. and even that works to their favor.
Dave June 08, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Ditto Matt.. I would love to see this done properly for once. If it were legal to buy drugs at drugstores then there would be no underground market in these gas stations and convience stores. Not that a legitimate drug store would have to sell any product they thought was unsafe or unpure.. just that they would be the best venue to regulate drugs in. Leave it up to supply and demand to get rid of this sheit.. and since they wanted to associate this crap with weed. Put weed in the legitimate drugstores for medicinal uses too. Give em the competition they were trying to lock out by pretending to be it. Believe me.. Hemp is more than a trillon dollar a year crop if they'd just legalize that. Weed alone would be more than a trillon dollars of our american money that we could keep in america if they did it properly. I would love to see the age limit for minors raised to 19 though. Not to be mean to 18 yo's.. but it's just too easy for an 18 yo to take it to high school. Not so easy for college kids..
Jeffery Berz June 18, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Well john it appears that Sheriff “RICK” has donned his white hat and is going to be the enforcer for Shelby Township. Of course that will only last as long as the media is around to take his picture. People also need to thank Trustee Lisa Manzella for getting an ordinance out there so quickly WITH the proper verbiage that makes it illegal to possess K2 along with selling it. Trustee Flynn didn’t really understand what he was trying to present to the township. He only had the intention of sidelining Mrs. Manzella’s ordinance.

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