Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte spoke to the Hartland Township board on Tuesday night, warning about the dangers of K2, a synthetic drug, within the community.
“It says on the container it’s not for human consumption," Bezotte said. "But what we’re finding out is that a lot of our kids that are on probation, we’ve found out that they’ve been smoking this. … They’re smoking this like they would marijuana.”
Drug test results will show up negative when smoking K2, however, Bezotte said the effects are the same as marijuana and that the chemicals sprayed on the substance are dangerous and affect the brain.
Referencing the Cipriano case in Farmington Hills, Bezotte says that K2 has a “dramatic” as well as long lasting effect on users of the drug.
Hartland junior Drue Deslauriers, who used to go to school with the Cipriano family, said he had never heard of K2 before the incident last month and only knows about K2 from the case.
“Basically, a good friend of mine, Tanner Cipriano, was basically asleep in the middle of the night,” he said. “And Tucker Cipriano the attacker, was all drugged up and K2 was the source -- that is what caused it.”
Deslauriers says he feels bad for the Cipriano family and never would consider going near the drug.
Bezotte said that they are currently trying to identify stores in the area that are selling the drug in the hopes of getting it off the shelves.
“The smoke shop behind the CVS is one of the biggest,” Bezotte said. “Also the Clyde Road Sunoco -- those are the two spots that have been identified.”
White Lake Patch recently reported that several residents have started a ban against stores that are known sellers of the legal drug and parents in Hartland are having a similar reaction.
“I hope all the parents in the Hartland area pull together and get this out of our area,” Dawn Peggie wrote on the Hartland Patch Facebook page. “I have a son who just graduated last year and he says it is a problem in the high school. I understand it is everywhere but each area is going to have to do their part in stopping it. My nephew was just caught with it and he is in Livonia."
Hartland High School junior Ashley Perry, who attended Linden High School last year, says that Hartland isn’t as bad as her old school.
“That’s where I heard about most of it and actually saw it in their hands,” Perry said. “I think it’s more addicting than actually the normal, pure what-you-get.”
Bezotte agrees, saying that they are learning that kids smoking K2 are only receiving a 20-minute high, which leads them to smoke it again quickly.
Stressing public awareness and educating parents, Bezotte left informational material on K2 with warning signs at the Township Hall.
"You have to keep track of your kids," he said. "The signs should be very obvious to the parents."