The board voted an emergency ordinance through Tuesday night banning the sale and possession of synthetic marijuana and similar substances in the township.
“We did the right thing,” said supervisor Tracy Schultz Kobylarz. “This is an unusual act for us to take, but this is an unusual matter.”
The board followed suit with several other area communities, including West Bloomfield, Royal Oak and Canton, in pushing through an ordinance banning the substance, which has made headlines across the state for having damaging effects for users.
K2 or Spice, as the substance is commonly referred to, is sold with colorful labels and marked as a herbal incense not meant for consumption. But many people, including teenagers, have purchased and smoked the substance.
Both the state House and Senate have approved a bill banning the substance and sent it to Gov. Rick Snyder‘s desk for signing earlier this week.
The board authorized the writing of an ordinance to allow for local law enforcement to arrest and process violators locally, which can process offenders quicker.
“It allows for the prosecution locally in our district court, by our prosecutors, as opposed to charging them with state law, which then would go to the county for prosecution,” said township attorney Jeff Clark.
Anyone who violates the local ban could be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500 and/or 90 days in jail.
Redford police chief Eric Gillman wrote letters to several area businesses last week, asking them to voluntarily pull the substance from their shelves.
He said there haven’t been any real problems with the drug, but being proactive can help prevent issues from popping up.
“Redford Township is in a location where you know we have a high number of gas stations and party stores,” he said. “They stand to make a lot of money on these things. We’re asking them to take a large cut in their profits. We’re just hoping they can take some moral stand.”
Clerk Garth Christie said he was disappointed it took the township to pass an ordinance banning the sale of the substance to halt people from using and purchasing it.
“I think it’s unfortunate we have to take this kind of action,” he said. “It’s really sad we have to do this.”