Poll: Do You Think K2 or Spice is a Problem in Clawson?
Clawson is joining several other communities and lawmakers in an effort to ban K2/Spice and educate the public.
Recent hospitalizations and deaths related to K2, or Spice, have prompted area groups and police departments to raise public awareness on the dangers of the drug.
Several groups in Michigan – including the Clawson and Troy Community Coalitions and www.nospicetroyclawson.org – have organized informational sessions aimed at educating residents about K2/Spice.
K2/Spice is a dried herbal blend sprayed with an analgesic chemical, creating a high similar to marijuana, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Administration.
The herbal essence is sold in Michigan stores as incense, the organization says, and side effects include heart palpitations, respiratory issues, panic attacks, hallucinations, delusions, vomiting and increased agitation.
Clawson Police Chief Harry Anderson said there have been no recent reports of K2/Spice incidents in Clawson but still, he wants to be proactive. Anderson is working with the Clawson Community Coalition to organize a forum to educate the community about the drug in the next few months.
He also hopes to create a letter to distribute to local stores that would advise merchants to take K2/Spice off the shelves. "Even though it's legal to buy, it's very dangerous for kids to use," he said.
However, Anderson said it's a matter of time before K2/Spice is illegal.
On Wednesday, Michigan state Rep. George Darany (D-Dearborn) introduced legislation aimed to combat the sale and use of synthetic marijuana in the state of Michigan.
The legislation–House Bill 5709–would require the Michigan Department of Community Health in cooperation with the State Police to analyze the content of the herbal mixtures and create a written report of its findings.
Darany’s proposal comes after many local communities have rallied to have Spice banned.
K2 has recently come to the center of media attention after 18-year-old Bloomfield Township resident Oliver Smith was found dead along Bloomfield Township's Wing Lake on Saturday. Police there believe Smith died of an apparent drug overdose directly related to his smoking K2.
In another teen death, attorneys for West Bloomfield's Sandra Layne say her 18-year-old grandson Jonathan Hoffman may have been under the influence of K2 when she allegedly shot and killed him at their West Bloomfield condo on May 18.
In Troy, police have recently responded to a report of a 15-year-old girl "freaking out" in a park after smoking K2, arrested a 19-year-old driving under the influence of K2 and discovered a teen hiding in the trunk of a car and smoking K2.
The drug may also have been in the system of Tucker Cipriano when the 19-year-old Farmington Hills resident and friend Mitchell Young, 20, allegedly beat several members of the Cipriano family, killing his father Bob Cipriano.
Anderson said the drug is too dangerous for parents to ignore. "Be aware of changes in behavior in kids," he said.
So what do you think, Clawson? Do you know of any teens who have used K2/Spice? Is the synthetic drug a problem in Clawson?