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New drug on fast track to black list

May 26, 2010 - Everyone reacts differently to K2 but nearly all the reactions are negative, says Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh. K2 is a new synthetic drug that's completely legal to buy, sell and possess, and it's hitting Lake Orion streets.

That's why he says he's pushing to get the drug banned in Oakland County and the state.

The drug, also known as "spice," "genie" and "fire and ice," has the potential to cause serious health issues to smokers, says Narsh. It's packaged to look like potpourri and it's legal for anyone to buy.

"It's really cool – legislators and law enforcement are working fast on something just starting to peak, and it's making a difference," said Narsh of recent legislative efforts in the county to outlaw K2. "We're working together to create a positive impact… and recognize the danger of a substance."

County Commissioners are currently looking to draw up an ordinance making it illegal to possess, sell or advertise the drug, punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine, according to the police chief.

For now, Lake Orion police are asking business owners to take K2 off the shelf voluntarily.

"Public health demand it be handled that way until it becomes law," said Narsh.

According to Lake Orion police, the effect of K2 when smoked is reported as an intense high similar to that of marijuana. The material is a combination of herbs and spices, sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Narsh says there are reports in the Metro Detroit area of teens being treated for vomiting, panic attacks and other disorders associated with using K2.

According to the chief, teens committing serious traffic violations with K2 as a factor are also on the rise.

"Based on emergency room reports, there are almost as many negative reactions to the drug as there are people using it," Narsh said.

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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