Wayne County officials today announced a plan to ban the sale of synthetic marijuana —commonly referred to by brand names K2 and Spice. The announcement comes a day after Macomb County announced a similar ban and just days after Oakland County announced a plan to give merchants who sign pledges not to sell the drug, a county-sponsored decal for their store window.
Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano signed an order that bans the sale of K2 and other synthetic marijuana products, according to a news release issued by his office. Under both Wayne and Macomb County’s emergency order, any person caught selling synthetic marijuana could be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, a $200 fine or both.
The orders fall under the state’s Public Health Code to immediately inform people affected by the “imminent danger” to health or lives, officials said.
In Wayne County, enforcement will be discussed by a Wayne County Task Force, the release said. County Executive Mark Hackel said he’s not worried about any legal challenges should someone be found in violation.
K2 or Spice is a drug sprayed with chemicals that mimic the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). The products have been growing in popularity among teenagers and young adults, leading to hospitalizations and a host of other problems.
The Free Press reported Sunday that some variations can be legally purchased in Michigan gas stations, tobacco stores, online and at various other outlets – usually for $5-$50.
Side effects can include rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, seizures, paranoia, loss of physical control and hallucinations, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health.
Current law prohibits some chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana, but experts say manufacturers have changed the formula to skirt the laws.
State lawmakers are considering a package of bills that could ban the substances.