‘Spice’ banned in Hurricane

HURRICANE – Hurricane City Council members unanimously adopted an ordinance Thursday that outlaws “Spice,” a synthetic version of marijuana.
Spice, also sold as Black Mamba, K-2, Puff, Sugar Sticks and other brand names, is a mix of herbs and spices laced with intoxicating chemical compounds similar to the active ingredient found in marijuana.
“We are beginning to see incidents involving Spice in our community, two or three a week,” said Hurricane Police Chief Lynn Excell. “This ordinance will outlaw the chemicals used in Spice.”
The ordinance specifically bans the use, distribution, manufacture, possession or purchase of 11 named chemical compounds used in Spice that create the intoxicating or hallucinogenic effect. Bartering, trading, giving, publicly displaying or attempting to sell the chemical compounds is also illegal under the ordinance.
A violation of the ordinance is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000, or both.
“Right now I don’t believe we have a business in town selling Spice,” said Chief Excell. “But I don’t think we want to wait for that to happen or wait for the state Legislature to pass something similar next year.”
Spice not only gives users a high, it is virtually undetectable by traditional drug tests, said Excell. The Drug Enforcement Administration, however, is working on an infield flash test for use by law enforcement officers who suspect someone is under the influence, he added.
Council members also said they would take a look at the city’s employee drug testing policy to make certain it complies with the new ordinance.

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