The Macomb County Health Department on Monday issued an emergency order against synthetic cannabinoids and other substances like K2.
The order says the Health Department has determined there is a "imminent danger" to the health and lives of Macomb County residents and that all selling, trading and serving of the drug be immediately ceased.
"Thankfully, the public has really responded to this by saying it's a danger, it's a problem, only because of the incidents that we've seen. Horrific examples of what has happened as a result of taking this," said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. "So, hearing about it and recognizing it, I have now turned to the those that are part of the public health and say, 'What responsibility to we have on behalf of the county to really address this issue?'"
Anyone who violates the order is subject to a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail or a $200 fine.
Area gas station owner Nader Jawad said there is intense pressure to sell the product because it is profitable. But he said he has never sold it because, "We knew about the side effects and the dangers of it early on because of incidents we've heard about with it."
Jawad said the trend took off in 2009.
"But we stayed out of it. We didn't want to be a part of it because of the dangers and because of the clientele that come in," he said.
"For the safety of our children, we are asking as parents and a community, we're begging as a community, to keep our children safe," said Jennifer Smith.
Smith said K2 almost killed her younger brother. She said he's now in treatment for an addiction.
"My brother was using K2 and spice and potpourri and whatever other names you want to call it. He was also using bath salts on a daily basis. He was a straight A/B student pretty much and on his way to college. It ruined his life," she said.
COMPLETE COVERAGE:Fighting the K2 drug epidemic