Has K2 Been on Your Radar?
After recent local tragedies and legislative pushes, Deputy Chief Bob North of Berkley Public Safety says synthetic marijuana has the city's attention and officials plan to support any measures to keep residents safe.
The sale of K2 — a synthetic drug also known as Spice — has drawn much attention throughout Michigan in recent weeks.
So far there have been no reported incidents occuring in Berkley or Huntington Woods, but authorities have agreed they will take appropriate actions to keep local youth safe.
"We’ve had some briefings on it with our city attorney on local ordinance issues," Deputy Chief Bob North of Berkley Public Safety said. "We know it’s dangerous and we certainly don’t want people using it because the effects are dramatically bad."
Many Michigan parents have expressed concern over the recent weeks about Spice in the wake of several incidents. The most recent was the death of 18-year-old Bloomfield Township resident Oliver Smith, who died of an overdose of the synthetic drug, Bloomfield Township police said.
That followed the shooting death of 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman on May 18. The West Bloomfield teen was allegedly shot by his grandmother, Sandra Layne, who attorneys say feared for her safety because he may have use K2. Tucker Cipriano, 19, of Farmington Hills is believed to have been high on synthetic marijuana in April when he attacked his family, killing his father and severely injuring his mother and brother.
North said that although an incident in Berkley hasn't come up, officials knows it could happen if they aren't proactive about dealing with the matter appropriately.
“We know it’s out there, and it could pop up any time until there are constraints are put on it," he said. "The object is to make certain that access to it is denied for people’s safety. This all comes down to the safety of citizens.”
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.
Darany’s proposal comes after many local communities have rallied to have Spice banned.
Other local officials are taking notice, too.
West Bloomfield Township will consider banning K2 at a board meeting this week. Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte has warned the Hartland Township board about the dangers of the drug. And 52-4 District Court Judge Kirsten Nielsen Hartig spoke out against Spice in an editorial on Troy Patch.
As far as legislation goes, North said officials will indeed people to stand in support of actions taken to tackle the issue. “We of course support anything that supports the safety of citizens,” he said.
Officials from the Huntington Woods Public Safety could not be reached for comment.