VIDEO: Hundreds Turn Out For K2 Protest; Gas Station Agrees to Stop Selling
During a rowdy protest Saturday, the Shelby Township Supervisor announced an ordinance that will be introduced to curb the sale of synthetic marijuana. Also, the Shelby Township Citgo Gas Station owner agreed to stop selling K2/Spice.
More than 200 people from across metro Detroit attended a K2/spice protest in front of the Citgo Gas Station and Woodstock Tobacco in Shelby Township Saturday afternoon.
Protesters ranged from family members whose children are addicted to synthetic marijuana and concerned residents who are urging local gas stations, smoke shops and party stores to stop selling the legal drug. In recent weeks, K2 rallies have been organized across the state in front of businesses that refuse to stop selling K2/spice. The most recent was in Dearborn.
Organizer of the Shelby Township protest, Bill Miskokoman, choose to rally people at the Citgo Gas station because he said for more than a year, his son, a Utica High School student, has been purchasing K2 from the station.
Jennifer Smith, 31, of Sterling Heights told Patch that her 19-year-old brother has been in and out of rehabilitation centers and often purchased K2 and bath salts from Citgo before school.
"Together as a community if we come together and make our voices heard... Anything can be done," said Smith.
Smith's brother held a sign that said, "Please do not support drug dealers in disguise." He explained that one time, an employee at the Citgo Gas Station told his brother that he would take his iPod as collateral for K2 until he could return with cash.
Citgo Gas Station owner David Dabish had told Patch.com last week that he would not stop selling selling the substance until it's illegal. He is also part owner of Woodstock Tobacco, which is just a few hundred feet away from the station.
Derick Dabish, another part owner of the Citgo Gas Station, announced to the raucous crowd, who was shouting at patrons filling up on gas to boycot the station, that Citgo has ceased the sale of K2, spice and any other form of synthetic marijuana.
Dabish's announcement came a day after Citgo Corporate asked all stations to stop selling K2/spice.
Miskokoman, Dabish and a non-profit organization are working together to create an initive that will deter other businesses in Shelby from selling synthetic marijuana.
“The good thing about this program is it’s not government sponsored it’s two people who are coming together,” added Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis.
There will be a meeting at 2 p.m. Monday at the Shelby Municipal Hall where more details on the initiative will be available.
Miskokoman told Patch he was happy Citgo Gas Station owners have agreed to cooperate and lead the charge on asking businesses to stop selling K2 and spice. However, Miskokoman said he is still has doubts of the business owners true intentions.
"I am not satisfied because they're still partners at Woodstock and they'll just send people there to get their spice," said Miskokoman.
Shelby Crafts K2 Ordianance
At the June 5 Board of Trustees meeting, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees will vote on an ordinace that prohibits the use, sale, purchase and distribution of synthetic chemicals including K2, spice and bath salts.
The ordinance states that businesses cannot sell similar products that produce a "marijuana-like high" to minors and must keep a log of people who purchase the products.
Penalties for selling synthetic chemicals include fines up to $500.
In Oakland County, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Sheriff Michael Bouchard on Friday urged retailers to pledge not to sell K2/Spice and other synthetic designer drugs. The county will issue a window decal to business owners who notify the county that they will not sell synthetic drugs.
Why K2 Is Not Illegal?
Under a law passed by the state legislature in September 2010, the possession or use of certain synthetic drugs was banned in Michigan. Earlier this year, there was also legislation introduced that would update Michigan's law so that the penalties for the sale and use of certain synthetic drugs would be similar to that for other Schedule 1 controlled substances.
However, manufacturers have been able to get around the law by simply changing the chemical makeup and the ingredients in the herbal mixtures and synthetic cannabinoids. Requiring a detailed analysis and report of these substances will be a useful tool in regulating the sale and use of these materials.
On Wednesday, Michigan state Rep. George Darany (D-Dearborn) introduced legislation aimed to combat the sale and use of synthetic marijuana in the state of Michigan.
The legislation–House Bill 5709–would require the Michigan Department of Community Health in cooperation with the State Police to analyze the content of the herbal mixtures and create a written report of its findings.