Livingston County officials declared synthetic marijuana, also known as Spice, K2, LOL, OMG and Bath Salts, an imminent health danger and issued an emergency order preventing sales of all substances Friday morning.
Ten local businesses will be served with a copy of the order by police and County Health Department officials, who will then confiscate all products on site. The products will be held in property rooms indefinately.
Assistant Prosecutor William Vailliencourt said he fully anticipates the product being destroyed after pending K2 legislation is approved.
Any violators of the order could be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in county jail and a $200 fine.
According to County Health Director Ted Westmeier, the order is based on data supplied by local area hospitals and agencies about the effects synthetic marijuana is having in the county.
His examples included: St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital Emergency Department treating up to nine cases per month of reactions to synthetic marijuana; the Regional Poison Control Center having reported six cases of county residents poisoned by synthetic marijuana this year; and the County Juvenile Court having had an increase in positive drug test results for synthetic marijuana on juveniles involved in the court.
Three known locations in the City of Brighton are The Haven on Main Street, Partyville Liquor Store on Grand River and Smoke N Gifts on Grand River.
Brighton Police Chief Tom Wightman said the three Brighton stores had yet to be visited by police and public health officials because they were not open at the time of the raids.
"We don't seem to have the gas station problem that these other areas do," Wightman said. "They (police and health officials) were able to hit those early because gas stations are open all night."
Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte said they confiscated about $1,500 to $2,000 worth of K2 from the Smoker's Depot in Hartland. Bezotte said he had visited the store owner about a month ago and advised him of the effects it was having on kids and the laws pending in Lansing.
"He pretty much said that as long as it was legal, he would continue to sell it," Bezotte said. "He wasn't too concerned about the effects it was having on the community, especially the kids. When we went there today, we pretty much knew they were going to have the product because they refused a month ago to take it off the shelves. Which is disappointing because there are so many businesses that have never sold it."
The remaining businesses include the Fowlerville Mobil and BP Gas Stations, the Pinckney BP Gas Station and Dollar Treasure and Howell Mobile Gas Station and Whistle Stop Party Store.
If anybody suspects a business is selling synthetic marijuana, they are asked to contact local police or the County Health Department at 517-552-6801. Officials will visit the business to provide a copy of the order to the owner, then confiscate any products in the store.