Macomb Will Wait for State to Ban K2 Before Passing Own Ordinance
Macomb Township trustees say they will wait to enact an ordinance banning the sale of K2 in the township until details of the state law–expected to be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder this week–are released.
With Gov. Rick Snyder expected to sign legislation this week banning K2 sales in Michigan, Macomb Township trustees have decided to wait and review the new state law before enacting any ordinance specific to the township.
“The issue came upon everybody pretty suddenly, within the last 30 days or so, and there’s been a flurry of activity,” said Lawrence Dloski, township attorney. “There have been some communities that have adopted an ordinance prohibiting the chemical compounds that are commonly referred to as K2. Those have been done in the absence of any state legislation.”
But provided Snyder does sign the House and Senate legislation outlawing the sale of synthetic marijuana in Michigan, which he is expected to do Thursday or Friday, the resulting state law would supersede any K2 ordinance passed by local governments to date.
“If the board adopts a local ordinance, it will take effect 30 days after publication (in a newspaper of record),” Dloski said. “But I’m not prepared tonight to tell you the relationship between the township’s proposed ordinance and state law. I don’t know if they’ll conflict.”
Snyder is set to sign a package of bills regarding K2. While one of the bills updates the list of chemicals used in the manufacture of synthetic drugs and makes them illegal to possess and sell, another grants the state power to temporarily ban a substance if the director of the Michigan Department of Community Health considers it an imminent danger to public health.
If Snyder signs these bills, a statewide ban on Spice sales could take effect as early as July 1.
In the meantime, the sale of Spice is still banned in Macomb County by an order signed by County Executive Mark Hackel and Macomb County Health and Community Services Director Steve Gold on June 4.
Under the county order, businesses caught selling K2, or any other synthetic drug risk a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to six months in jail or a $200 fine.
Macomb County Sheriff's Lt. Jeffery Brossard said since this order was issued, he has instructed deputy sheriffs serving Macomb Township to “actively go into all party stores, gas stations and retail outlets located within the township of Macomb and detect if any of the retail outlets are in fact selling this substance.”
As of Tuesday evening, Brossard had received no reports of Macomb businesses selling K2.
Once the state law is signed and full details are made available, the township does intend to reconsider enacting a township ordinance regarding K2.
“We have two weeks (until our next meeting) to get the information we need to determine what kind of penalty is going to be enacted under the state law and to determine whether we need to take action or not,” said Clerk Michael Koehs. During that period, the sheriff’s office will continue to enforce the K2 ban in Macomb on the basis of the county order.
Sold under a variety of trade names, K2, or Spice, is made up of dried, shredded plant material sprayed with chemical additives. The product is marketed as "not for human consumption," but is being increasingly used among teens to achieve a high.
Side effects of using the substance are known to include paranoia, panic attacks and giddiness, as well as to increase heart rates and blood pressure. It has been linked to 18-year-old Bloomfield Township resident Oliver Smith’s death and is alleged to have influenced 19-year-old Farmington Hills resident Tucker Cipriano’s fatal attack on his family.
For more information on K2, its origin and effects, visit Patch's Spice 101 page.