HOWARD CITY — Starting Sunday, it will be illegal to buy, sell or use synthetic drugs in Michigan.
But Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt is getting a head start on cracking down.
DeWitt confiscated 411 packages of synthetic marijuana, commonly known as “spice,” from Rana Liquor at 214 S. Ensley St. in downtown Howard City on June 14 — the same day Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill making synthetic drugs illegal.
The 411 packages each contained 1.5 grams for a total of 616.5 grams. The synthetic drug sells for $10 to $15 per 1.5 grams throughout Michigan.
“With the amount of overdoses and calls of subjects under the influence, we were happy to have a tool to help get it off our streets,” said DeWitt of the new law. “Spice has been a big problem for us here, with overdoses and police response, along with medical response. Often the suspects are violent from it.”
DeWitt said the store owner did not object to the seizure.
“I’ve had a very concerned mother of an overdose victim who has been coming in regularly to speak about this and how to get a local store to stop selling it,” DeWitt said. “We felt with the overdoses and abuse we saw locally that it was in the community’s best interest to act immediately.”
The Michigan State Police Lakeview Post is currently working to educate and inform retailers who are selling synthetic drugs about the new law, according to Commander Kevin Sweeney.
Synthetic drugs include K2, Chronic Hypnotic, Happy Smurf, Genie, Yucatan, Fire, King Krypto, Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. Smokey, K-3, Red Magic, LOL, OMG, Bath Salts, White Rush, Cloud Nine, White Lightning, Scarface, Sextasy and Hurricane Charlie, among many other colorful names.
To learn more, visit www.michigan.gov/designerdrugs online.