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Residents Start Campaign Against Spice Retailers in White Lake

In an effort to remove the synthetic marijuana from the area, local residents are asking people to boycott businesses selling Spice in White Lake.

At least two residents have started a in White Lake, and they're asking residents to join in on a boycott of local businesses that sell the synthetic marijuana to area kids.

"While I am very encouraged by the recent progress in getting Spice off of the shelves at the state level, a recent article in another publication quoted Mike Kowall as saying that White Lake was able to pressure businesses in our township to stop selling Spice," Jeff Long, a White Lake resident and Huron Valley Schools board member said. "Unfortunately, he is mistaken, it seems that most party stores and gas stations in White Lake still sell, or have resumed selling, this dangerous 'fake pot' to anyone with the money."

The synthetic drug is becoming a problem in the schools, according to officials, and several parents have been left wondering what can be done.

"This type of synthetic marijuana is extremely dangerous," White Lake Police Chief Ed Harris said. "There has been movement to introduce new legislation to ban all forms of this substance, however it is still pending. I would strongly recommend everyone contact their respective state representatives and senators to urge the passage of such legislation."

Currently, anyone 18 or older can purchase Spice.

"We are fully aware of Spice, and have had quite a few instances, maybe 5-10, of students in possession," Principal Paul Gmelin said. "Spice is dangerous and a problem not only in schools but also the entire community."

It is currently against district and school policy for students, even those who can legally buy it, to have the product on school property.

The code of conduct states, "Students are not to be in possession of ... illegal drugs including counterfeits or look-a-likes in school. The selling, supplying, delivering, arranging for the sale of, possession of amounts for sale, sharing or distribution of drug paraphernalia ... or look-a-like substances that are misrepresented as drugs is prohibited."

Students caught with possession of Spice are subject to suspension, administrative intervention or expulsion, depending on the circumstances.

Gmelin said when it comes to combating Spice in the schools and community, education is the key.

"My social worker is sharing information with parents and working with students individually and in groups to educate them about the dangers of the drug," he said. "The frustrating part at this time is that it's legal for persons over 18, and it's easy to obtain if you are underage. We also send information out frequently on our list serv, and my police liaison has contacted local businesses who reportedly are selling Spice to our kids."

Residents, like Long, are asking that parents join in and boycott Spice retailers.

"I think it's time to put together a boycott list of the businesses that are endangering our kids," he said. "I would submit the first as the Bogie Lake/M-59 Shell, walk in to the counter and see what is still for sale in White Lake and see what we need to stop."

Another resident, Janet Wheaton Terry, agrees, "I would like to know what people think about local store owners selling K2/Spice like the Shell station at 59 and Bogie Lake Road and The Gin Mill at Pontiac Lake Road and 59 because it is legal, and not caring about the immense harm it is doing to our youth and young adults," she said. "I would ask that our community join together and boycott these dealers and tell them that we will not stand for it, not in our community."

Terry, a certified addiction counselor, said she encourages parents to get informed.

"Spend your money at a store that does not deal with this drug," she said.

Spice is currently sold at several gas stations in White Lake, but not every retailer puts the product on display. Some stores opt to keep Spice behind the counter, something School Liaison Police Officer Jon Kirken said he hopes other stores will do.

"It's a legal drug, it can be sold and displayed just like tobacco or alcohol," he said. "While I don't like is the fact that these businesses are selling it, I would encourage them to keep it behind their counters and sell it only when asked to get it, similar to cigarettes."

In some stores, massive displays are set up Kirken said.

"I've talked to a few of the stores," he said. "I asked why they keep selling it to kids if they know it's dangerous, one manager said they make $700-$800 a day selling Spice. I don't know how accurate that figure is for every retailer in White Lake, but it shows just how popular Spice is in the community."

Kirken said it's hard for the police to do anything about the situation because the drug is legal. However, Kirken, like Chief Harris, recommends parents talk to their legislators to get the drug banned all together.

"Even if we were to get rid of it in White Lake, it'd still be available in other places and the kids would get it," he said. "Parents need to pay attention to their kids and talk to them about the dangers of Spice. Education and communication can go a long way."

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peter berci May 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM
I am behind the boycott 100%. Lets put a list together of the retailers who sell this product. Lets just call this what it is, the people that sell this product are drug dealers plain and simple. White Lake and the surrounding areas have enough problems to deal with. This is just one more issue that we, as a community, can do away with. With just a little support form our elected officials, and our great police department, this problem could be dealt with.
Nichole May 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I would love to see a list!! I am on totally on board. My son will be 18 this summer, I would like to think that I have raised him well enough to know to stay away from this garbage. My husband and I both support our local business, but we would support any band on retailers selling these products!!
THERESA May 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I completely agree with getting and keeping it out of our community. The State needs to do a band statewide! I understand kids are curious and I too hope I have tought my children right from wrong. I do not want to be a parent that has to bury my child because curiousity killed the cat.
Jeffrey Long May 14, 2012 at 01:00 PM
The first place to start? Post every store you enter that sells this garbage. If you go into a store that isn't displaying K2/Spice, ask if they do sell it, and post them too. Then be sure to tell them you won't be back until they stop their sales. This won't be easy if they are selling as much as they claim, but if those claims are true, it just shows how big of a problem this has become.
THERESA May 14, 2012 at 01:14 PM
oops.. Type-o Band s/b Ban.
Andi May 14, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Don't go to the gas station at M- 59 and Ormond. Tons of spices in that gas station. I don't plan to go back.
LonzII May 14, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I started my own personal ban several months ago. I stopped at the Shell station & several party stores & told them my family & friends would no longer be purchasing gas or any other products from their store as long as they sold the K2/spice products. The Meijer gas station DOES NOT & WILL NOT sell this product. I shook the hand of the manager, said 'thank you', & let her know we will only be buying gas, coffee, drinks, etc. from that location from now on. And she appreciated it - they actually have a conscious there. I did not see it at the Speedway, but I did not take a close look. We all need to band together to send the message. The manager @ the Shell did tell me many of their customers are adults (*sigh*) & they do make several hundred dollers a day from the sale of the product. And if they don't sell it, people will go elsewhere. Our best bet is a statewide ban, but good luck getting that past our governor, who recenly removed the helmet law & ban on sale of fireworks - so I don't think he is exactly looking out for anyone's safety, just the all-mighty dollar. I will post if I find any other local party stores/retailers who are NOT selling it. I think the list will be small. Please email everyone you know from the community & let's get this going.....
Gerry S May 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Let me get this straight. A kid kills his dad with a baseball bat while high on this stuff and for some unknown reason it is still legal to buy it from unscrupulous party and gas station owners. Instead of doing something about this our legislature and Attorney General choose to go after medical marijuana patients who are prescribed the drug by licensed physicians.
Danielle Smith May 14, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Sadly if you manage to ban spice there will be 10 more drugs or substances waiting to take its place I dont see anyone boycotting walmart and meijers who leaves the bottles of compressed air sitting out for anyone to buy, do you have any idea what type of damage that has done to kids from huffing it? The fastest growing drug use among teens and adults right now it prescription drugs, How many parents still use Xananx and klonopin to "relax", how many kids are taking these pills from their parents medicine cabinet? The key has been and will always be education both at home and in the schools.
Kathy Vitullo May 14, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Absolutely! Keep it going! Kathy Vitullo
Janet Terry May 15, 2012 at 12:19 AM
True Danielle, and I hope this educates as well, but we need to take a stand somewhere. Spice is totally unregulated and users have no idea of the quantity or type of drug they are ingesting. Manufacturers of this drug are thwarting the intent of the legislature that this drug be illegal and the dealers of this drug have no idea if the drug they are dealing is one that is illegal or one that is not. They don't seem to care if it is truly legal or not, deadly or not, as long as they make money. If everyone would try to identify a store that is NOT selling Spice as well as those that are I believe we can truly make a statement that goes further than just Spice and that may address you concerns about huffing and the use of prescriptions drugs as well.
Julie Richardson May 15, 2012 at 03:08 PM
There was an article a week or so ago about new business in White Lake. It mentioned that the Gin Mill is trying to get permission to tear down their old building and relocate their parking lot. Time to fight fire with fire. If they want their permit, they will stop selling these products. If not, that building should have been condemned years ago..
Julie Richardson May 15, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Danielle, not sure what Wal-Mart or Meijer's policy is but at Home Depot you have to show ID to purchase compressed air, spray paint, etc.
debbie May 20, 2012 at 01:06 PM
We are supporting the band!
Teresa Johnson May 21, 2012 at 01:53 AM
My cousin, Nick, ended up in the ER because of this CRAP! For several days, we weren't sure how much Brain Damage had occurred. This stuff affected his short term memory. He is 17 years old, but was responding like a 4 year old for several days. Friends of his weren't so lucky. This stuff has put he friend in a coma, that they aren't sure he will come out of. This stuff has to be stopped. It may be legal to sell to 18 year olds, but the younger kids can go in and purchase it just the same. This is the website Nick's mother started to help get awareness out and try to make the banning of these substances a law! http://www.facebook.com/NicksLaw2012
Teresa Johnson May 21, 2012 at 02:00 AM
This is what Nick's mom wrote about her dealings with this SPICE! "My name is Heather and I am the mother of a 17 year old son who is suffering long term effects from the consumption of these drugs. They are marketed as an incense or potpourri.(i.e. K2, Posh, Spice etc.) It does state on the packaging "Not for human consumption" however they are sold for the exact purpose of smoking. My son is a normally very bright and articulate boy. He is currently reduced to behavior of approximately a six to eight year old. His focus, judgement and speech have all been affected. He is not sleeping more than a few minutes at a time. We made a trip to the ER on Thursday night because of his strange behavior and the doctor told me that there have been thousands of kids that have been through there from using this stuff. I refuse to let my son become a statistic from this garbage that is being sold at many of our gas stations, smoke shops, party stores and dollar stores. we have confronted several store owners in our town. Because it is currently not illegal to purchase as long as you are over the age of 18 they feel justified in having it in their establishments. Making them legal drug pushers.Please help me save all of our children."

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