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Ordinance would ban synthetic marijuana

Monday, November 1, 2010

Clay County Commissioner President Charlie Brown
Clay County continues its proactive approach in the war against drugs.

During Monday's meeting, the Clay County Commissioners suspended the rules and adopted an ordinance on its first reading, banning the sale of synthetic marijuana within the county.

With lawmakers considering legislation to possibly ban such substances, including "K2" and "Spice," county officials felt it was best to stay one step ahead of the curve.

"Drugs have become a plague upon our community, and we need to keep doing what we can to minimize the effect it has on our residents," Commissioners' President Charlie Brown said. "Our local law enforcement is out there all the time fighting this fight, and their efforts are ongoing."

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said the products are legal at this time, but their health effects are not currently known.

"These products have chemical compounds similar to marijuana, and it even states on the packages that it is 'not for human consumption,'" he said. "There are only two shops in the county that are currently selling synthetic marijuana, but they have both agreed to remove it from their shelves once this ordinance is passed."

A major reason for instituting the ban was how accessible it is to the county's youth.

"Young people are aware of it and its effects," Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger told the commissioners. "I recently spoke to a group of high school kids and they knew more about it than I did."

Heaton added synthetic marijuana products like "K2" and "Spice" have not been tested by the Food and Drug Administration, United States Department of Agriculture or other governmental agency regulating human consumption, meaning the welfare of those ingesting the substances are not clear.

With other counties in the state already adopting similar prohibitive ordinances, local officials also wanted to prevent the potential of trafficking the product into areas where the ban is in effect.

"Not only will this hopefully protect our youth in the county, but also prevent those from counties with a ban already in place from coming here," Reberger said. "The main goal is to maintain the safety of the residents and keep drugs off our streets."

According to the ordinance, those in violation will be subject to the penalty imposed for a Class B infraction (up to a $1,000 fine) as set forth in Indiana Code 34-28-5-4, and the ordinance will be enforced by the provisions of Indiana Code 34-8-5.

In addition, Heaton said officials are looking into the possibility of creating a separate ordinance prohibiting Salvia in the county.

Meanwhile, the commissioners elected to extend the term of another ban currently in place.

Brown said that while there has been some accumulation of rainfall, it has not been enough to end the countywide ban on burning.

Because of this, the commissioners unanimously voted to extend the burn ban through at least Nov. 16, at which time the ordinance could be extended further or ended.

In other business during Monday's meeting, the Clay County Commissioners:

* Approved work order changes in the contract for the repaving of Harmony Road as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus). The changes include the purchase of temporary marking tape for the road, and the use of manpower and equipment to patch a hole on the road just north of Center Point. According to Tim Daggy, representing Butler, Fairman & Seufert Civil Engineers, Indianapolis, the additional work fits within the financial restraints of the current contract,

* Approved the solicitation of bids for the Clay County Highway Department, which will be opened during the commissioners December meeting, and

* Released the last portion of Economic Recovery Zone Bonds in the amount of $604,500. With no local companies wanting to utilize the funds -- most of which was released during the October meeting -- other counties with a need will be able to use the funds being released by Clay County.

The next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners is scheduled for 9 a.m., Monday, Dec. 6, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.

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This K2 ordinance is great news! Thank you Commissioners.

-- Posted by Dagnabbitt on Mon, Nov 1, 2010, at 7:12 PM

Um, What? Are people in Clay County asleep at the wheel? Go Vote People. Fat and lazy waiting for the Gov to feed you is no way to go through life.

* Released the last portion of Economic Recovery Zone Bonds in the amount of $604,500. With no local companies wanting to utilize the funds -- most of which was released during the October meeting -- other counties with a need will be able to use the funds being released by Clay County.

-- Posted by coltsbeer on Tue, Nov 2, 2010, at 1:59 AM

Charlie, keep up the good work!!

-- Posted by armyguy on Tue, Nov 2, 2010, at 5:32 AM

If nobody wants the $604,500.00, put it in a fund to start fixing our streets!! THEY SUCK!

-- Posted by th1953 on Tue, Nov 2, 2010, at 12:07 PM

I think alcohol is a much worse drug than spice. Why don't we put this effort into banning alcohol sales in this fine city?

-- Posted by RDK on Tue, Nov 2, 2010, at 1:14 PM

Glad that this ordinance being put into effect. I saw information on this stuff on news program in Canada this past July and had not known about it at all before that time.

RDK: Alcohol is already regulated so cannot be legally sold to minors. While not a perfect solution for those of legal age but not mature minded enough to control their urges, there are limits on what a local government can do to regulate its sales. Just need to make sure that all laws enforced with regard to making it available to minors, including in ones own house, but furthermore to be a mentor by example to be responsible when using it, if one does, so youngsters won't follow by example others' stupidity. I agree that except for the social acceptance of it, it is still a drug that is many times used to alter one's state of mind. chocolate will remain my "drug" of choice. It causes enough of a dopamine release for me.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Tue, Nov 2, 2010, at 1:52 PM

Thank you for taking more steps to protect our children and families.

-- Posted by luvmylife9295 on Wed, Nov 3, 2010, at 6:03 AM

UMAD .. just like with any drug, there will always be a way to get it. Same with alcohol and minors.

I don't believe this will be a means to an end .. but it's a start. The more the public is aware of the new stuff out there for druggies to use, snort, shoot up and smoke, the easier it is for local law enforcement to make every effort to keep it off the streets.

I think it's a good thing.

-- Posted by Emmes on Wed, Nov 3, 2010, at 11:18 AM

It took all the Clay County Commissioners to pass this bill, not just one commissioner, and to all of you "I say, thank you".

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Thu, Nov 4, 2010, at 9:11 AM

Aren't they fighting a never-ending battle? As soon as they ban one chemical, it seems there are several new ones to replace it. http://www.k2herbincense.com/ claims to have stuff that is legal in every single state. Are they going to keep banning these substances as they come up? That's going to be costly and as you can see, not so effective.

-- Posted by ashbash584 on Fri, Nov 5, 2010, at 3:39 PM

Don't ya think Charlie needs a new make-up person? Maybe they were on K2?

-- Posted by Cardonia Redneck on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 10:39 AM

No, Charlie looks fine but I think you are related to Lee......not near as witty though!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Mon, Nov 8, 2010, at 12:37 PM

Legislators would be better off legalizing marijuana. If marijuana were made legal, there would not be this void that needed filled and which is being filled with unregulated chemicals which really have no research done on them. This hunt that lawmakers and law enforcement are on is one which will never come to an end. They can ban k2 incense blends all they want, but places like http://www.buyherbalincense.com offer legal everywhere herbal incense blends. People will buy k2 incense for as long as there are legal options.

-- Posted by karmajolie on Fri, Sep 23, 2011, at 3:37 PM

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