LAPEER COUNTY —Retailers, here's your warning from Prosecutor Byron Konschuh.
As of October 1, the sale of synthetic marijuana products is illegal but area gas stations and convenience stores must not have been paying attention. According to Konschuh, police officers have spotted the stuff, commonly sold as 'K2' or 'Spice' on store shelves. It's marketed either as incense or herbs, but stocked with tobacco products and smoking paraphernalia.
No local businesses have been charged yet for keeping the substance on their shelves but Konschuh said he'll start handing out felony warrants soon if stores don't stop selling.
"It appears that people don't realize this stuff is not safe," Konschuh said.
"It's marketed to kids who don't want to test positive for drugs yet get the same kind of high that's found in pot."
The danger comes from whatever chemicals the companies are putting into the synthetic pot. Often the side effects from the drugs are worse than the real thing including hallucinations, paranoia, elevated blood pressure and more.
"It was fairly common in places like Oakland, Genesee and Macomb counties and it did start to crop up locally before we banned it," Konschuh said.
Michigan House Bill 6038 and Senate Bill 1373 classifies the fake cannabis as a schedule one controlled substance.
Other brand names include Spike, Ex-Ses and Spice Genie.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.