As of Monday, Alabama’s new ban on this stuff is now in effect. Greg Dobbins says people have walked out of his store, Carbon Hill Tobacco Outlet, many times disappointed. He’s never carried “Spice” and he says for good reason.
Dobbins said, “I don’t know a whole lot about except for what I see on TV. They say it’s not really good for your health. It’s worse than regular marijuana.” That’s why he’s glad it’s now banned in the state.
The product has caused problems in Walker County over the last several months.
Adam Hadder works for the Walker Co Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit. He tells us that deputies have confiscated it from teens during traffic stops and worse.
Hadder said, “I’ve seen two overdoses myself. Kids are affected. That’s why we take it more seriously. That’s something we’re not going to tolerate.” And Hadder added that authorities are going after stores that don’t pull it from their shelves.
FOX6 spoke to an employee at the “Jasper Tobacco Outlet,” who says they just pulled the product Sunday. Hadder knows of several other stores still selling spice.
Hadder said, “I think it was a pretty profitable to them at times. So I think it’s going to take us doing some enforcement action like confiscating it and maybe possible arrests.”
Hadder expects ome store owners to secretly sell it. To those people, he says it’s not worth the risk, “Eventually people are going to tell us, if we don’t see it ourselves. This is the last thing we need. This stresses our manpower but we see more kids, teens affected by this stuff than some of the other real drugs. So that’s what we are making this a priority right now.”
If store owners are caught with the synthetic marijuana they could now face a charge of “possession of a controlled substance,” which is a felony.
Walker County drug agents plan to go undercover and uniformed deputies will go to stores, checking to make sure the product isn’t being sold.