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Wasilla council again weighs ban on Spice and other synthetic drugs

Zaz Hollander
Bill Roth

WASILLA -- For the second time in a month, Wasilla's city council will take public comment as members decide whether to prohibit synthetic drugs like Spice and bath salts.

The council on Feb. 24 failed to pass a new ordinance banning the use, possession and sale of the drugs. The actual vote was 3-2 in favor, with one member absent, but four votes are needed to pass city legislation.

Members who voted against the ban said they thought its language was too broad but said they would be open to a more narrowly focused ordinance. City officials at the time said they planned to introduce a reworked version.

The new ordinance will go before the council during a public hearing at its next meeting. The council will meet starting at 6 p.m. Monday at Wasilla City Hall, located at 290 East Herning Avenue.

The ordinance was based on one passed in Anchorage in January.

City officials say six stores in Wasilla sell products police consider synthetic drugs.

Authorities say the relatively cheap, readily available substances like Spice that mimic the effects of illegal drugs are unsafe because their chemical makeup is a mystery. Labels reading "not for human consumption" allow them to bypass Food and Drug Administration review. They can trigger chaotic emotional and health problems including aggressive behavior, seizures, and collapse.

The substances tend to fall outside the reach of authorities because manufacturers shift recipes to stay ahead of changing drug laws.

Reach Zaz Hollander at zhollander@adn.com or 257-4317.

 


By ZAZ HOLLANDER
zhollander@adn.com