Governor Robert Bentley today signed an executive order allowing law enforcement agencies across the state to seize synthetic marijuana, commonly known as "spice," and "K2." At a press conference in Montgomery, Governor Bentley was joined by Dr. Don Williamson, State Health Officer, who has issued an emergency order making the possession or sale of chemical compounds typically found in synthetic marijuana substances unlawful. Twenty-four substances will be placed under Schedule I of the Alabama Controlled Substances List effective on October 24.
"Alabamians need to be aware that these goods contain synthetic drugs and other chemicals which are very dangerous to their health. They are being sold in convenience stores and tobacco shops all over this state to unwary individuals including our children," said Governor Bentley. "We are asking store owners and operators to remove these products from their shelves. And, we have instructed our law enforcement agencies to take possession of any that they find for sale. Since the substances within these products have been scheduled as controlled substances, it will be illegal to make, sell, possess or use these dangerous drugs."
The Alabama Department of Public Health heard testimony at a public hearing on September 19 on concerns about synthetic marijuana products like "Spice," "K2" and others. These psychoactive herbal and chemical substances have been sold in a variety of stores and marketed online as herbal incense or potpourri.
Persons commenting at the hearing expressed concern that there is a misconception by those who purchase the substances that they are safe because of the way they are packaged and sold at a variety of retail outlets.
"These substances have been wrongly presented as a safe and legal alternative to marijuana," said Dr. Don Williamson. "By supporting regulations outlawing their possession and sale, we want the public to be aware of the toxic effects and other dangers associated with synthetic marijuana use."