The Shelby Township Board of Trustees voted Tuesday evening to enact an ordinance and a resolution banning the sale and possession of K2, also known as Spice in the township.
The ordinance re-instates Shelby Township's promise to support Macomb County's order prohibiting businesses from selling K2. Macomb County officials announced during a press conference Monday that it is now a misdemeanor to sell K2 in Macomb County, and 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. All Spice is to be immediately removed from store shelves.
Shelby Township's ordinance goes a step further and clarifies that people who posses Spice in the township can also face stiff penalties. The Shelby Township ordinance also states that anyone selling Spice can face up to 90 days in jail, and will be prosecuted at the township level.
A final vote on the ordinance must be taken at the next Board of Trustees meeting, and then it must be published in the local paper before it can go into effect. Township officials said the ordinance would go into effect -- if passed -- by the earliest, late June.
Shelby Township added a "sunset clause" to the ordinance stating that once Michigan passes laws banning Spice, the township's ordinance will be null and void since the state is better equip to prosecute violators. The resolution will remain in effect until it's changed.
On Tuesday, The Michigan House Committee passed several bills aimed at curbing the sale of K2 in Michigan.
The bills will create a way for the state Director of Community Health and the Board of Pharmacy to quickly label Spice or Bath Salts as controlled substances, and ban them from being sold in Michigan stores. Retailers who continue to sell the labeled drugs would be committing a felony punishable by prison and fines.
Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis went to Lansing Tuesday to attend a day-long of testimony made by health officials, law enforcement and gas station owners.
He was joined by State Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, who attended the Board meeting. Lund said that four bills aimed at getting K2 off store shelves are currently passing through legislature and will be on Gov. Rick Snyder's desk by next Thursday.
"We want to make sure what we’re doing this time is make sure it’s going to be good in the long run," he said.
In 2010, Michigan outlawed K2. Since the ban, manufacturers have found ways around the legislation by manufacturing variations of the banned substance, eliminating the chemicals that caused the original K2 to be banned.