Linden PD asks to ban synthetic pot

Published 8:52 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2011

LINDEN – City police chief Scott McClure proposed to the council Tuesday that it consider an ordinance banning the sale and possession of all paraphernalia related to synthetic marijuana.

The ordinance, which is to be drafted by city attorney Woody Dinning by the next council meeting, would go a step further than the executive order signed by Gov. Robert Bentley last Friday that banned the sale of synthetic marijuana.

The substance, which has been marketed under names such as “K2,” “Spice” and “Black Magic Smoke,” among others, is a chemically treated herbal product the imitates the effects of marijuana.

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Bentley called the synthetic marijuana dangerous and said it could be blamed for overdoses and suicides.

Under Linden’s proposed ordinance, which is expected to go into effect in early December, any pipes, bongs or devices used to smoke the substance would be outlawed immediately.

“Basically anything that law enforcement considers paraphernalia, anything that is traditionally used to smoke cannabis,” McClure said of what would be covered by the law.

Under the current law, pipes and devices cannot be labeled as drug paraphernalia until it is sent to a lab and been tested.

“Until it has been sent to the lab and is found to have residue in it, you can’t consider it paraphernalia,” McClure said. “What we’re doing is just another attempt at trying to head it off.”

Should the ordinance pass in December, it will likely disallow the products within the police jurisdiction rather than limiting the bounds to the city limits.

“I don’t know that I will confiscate the stuff. I will go by and tell them ‘You cannot sell this in your store. Get it out.’ If anything is found in that store after that date, they will be arrested and charged under the ordinance,” McClure said, pointing to the fact that merchants will have a very narrow window in which to remove such items from their stores.

“I’ll follow suit with the state and what they did with the synthetic marijuana. I will go to stores with copies of the ordinance. If they have any of these items, I will not seize them but I will allow them to take them to another store or send them back to the distributor or anything that they need to do. If they are found to have possession of these after that date, they will be arrested.”