Ban on K2 still working 1 year later in Metro Detroit

Signs still posted outside stores reminding public it's illegal to buy, sell, or use synthetic drugs in Michigan

By Shawn Ley - Reporter


Signs that it is illegal to sell or possess K2 are still prevalent at gas stations around Metro Detroit.

"I have two teenagers, have heard nothing about it," said Stephanie Ryan, a mother in Huntington Woods. "It is a good thing, because I do not want my teenagers doing that."

Ryan has two children and she wants to keep them away from K2, also known as spice or synthetic marijuana.

"My daughter and son come down here all the time on their bikes and everything so I don't want it to be readily available to them," said Ryan.

Gas station clerks tell Local 4 that a year ago K2 spice sales people would try to get the product on to their store shelves. It was a hot seller at gas stations, party stores and smoke shops in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties until it actually exploded into a public health hazard.

Tucker Cipriano, the man accused of beating his father Bob Cipriano to death with a baseball bat and severely injuring his mother Rose and brother Sal, has testified in court that he was on a cocktail of drugs the days leading up to last year's attack.  Among them were spice and K2, which he said he smoked.

Read more: Cipriano says he took several drugs before, after beatings

Parents, scared and concerned about what could happen to their children, took action to help get K2 banned from local stores. In Macomb County, officials invoked its 'imminent danger order' to stop the sales of K2 in stores. That is an emergency ordinance by the county's health department.

Read: Snyder signs bills banning synthetic marijuana

"We kind of took a risk. It's never been done before," said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. "Even at the state level, they were kind of curious as to what we were doing in Macomb county."

Other communities also put pressure on store owners to stop selling K2 products.

State lawmakers in Lansing quickly followed up with a law banning the sale and possession of K2, spice and synthetic marijuana.  The law took effect July 1, 2012.

One year later, Hackel said the K2 ban is working.

"The reality is with any type of drug you're still going to have some of it out there, there is always that residual.  Somebody from the underground has access to it and still providing it, but the reality is it's not as prevalent, nearly as prevalent as it was before.  We're not hearing as much about it," said Hackel.

While K2 is illegal to sell and possess in Michigan, parents should know that it is still available online.

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