The city of Birmingham is drafting an ordinance banning the synthetic drug K2/Spice that has been in the news recently, athough it's not likely to come before the Birmingham City Commission until its June 25 meeting — if at all.
According to City Attorney Tim Currier, his office and the Birmingham Police Department are working out the details of a ordinance banning K2 or Spice, an herbal mixture that, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, produces experiences similar to marijuana.
K2 has been cited as the cause of death in the case of 18-year-old Bloomfield Township resident Oliver Smith, who was found dead along Wing Lake on May 26. K2 is also an alleged influence in 19-year-old Farmington Hills resident Tucker Cipriano’s fatal attack on his family.
However, according to resident Dorothy Conrad, who brought up the issue during the public comment section of the Monday night City Commission meeting, Birmingham has been silent on K2.
"I haven't heard Birmingham say anything," she said.
Even though Birmingham is working on an ordinance, Currier said the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives have seen several bills concerning K2, ones that might take precedence over anything Birmingham passes.
On June 7, the House passed a version of Senate Bill 1082, which allows police to remove synthetic drugs — including cannabinoids like K2 or Spice, as well as "bath salts" — from store shelves.
Currier said a final bill might arrive on the governor's desk by the end the week. If a state law were to be passed, K2 use would become a felony, Currier said, punishable by up to four years in prison or a $20,000 fine. Currier said in that case, it would be the state — not local municipalities — who would prosecute in K2 cases.
Mayor Mark Nickita noted Monday night that the K2 issue was a "rapidly moving target," but still one the city was considering.
Those answers pleased Conrad, who said she was encouraged by the update. "People are asking," she said, "but I'm encouraged."