Fort Wayne City Council Preliminarily Bans K2

By John W. Davis

August 17, 2010 Updated Aug 19, 2010 at 2:19 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne City Council preliminarily voted Tuesday night to ban the sale and use of K2 in the Summit City.

Most council members, and Fort Wayne Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan agreed with Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York when he said banning K2 is a "matter of protecting our children."

"I think that we need to protect our kids. It's a public health problem, their brains are vulnerable, they're growing and we don't want them to be exposed to these potentially harmful substances," said Fort Wayne Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan.

K2 supporters testified before council and said kids should not have access to K2 or Spice, but argued for regulation, instead of a complete ban.

Tuesday's prelim ban was passed 8 to 1.

Councilwoman Karen Goldner was the only person to vote against the ban.

"It is a difficult issue for me. I kinda go back and forth but I just didn't think that this ordinance, the way Councilman Harper had it drafted, I just didn't think that it was gonna be affective at accomplishing a goal that I have, which is to keep it away from our kids," said Goldner.

Goldner also raised the question of enforcement.

Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York said he supported the ban but wanted all K2 and Spice package names added to the ordinance.

Chief York felt adding brand names would make enforcement easier, so the police force will not have to spend money to test for synthetic cannabinoids.

Meanwhile, no one would face jail time because of the ban, only $2500 for selling the substance, and up to $1,000 for using the substance.

Fort Wayne's ordinance will include a "sunset clause", which would end the ban on July 1, 2011.

Council members said the clause would give state lawmakers time to ban or regulate synthetic cannabinoids.

Any state law would most likely replace Fort Wayne's proposed ban.

A final vote to approve a K2 ban in Fort Wayne is expected to take place on Tuesday, August 24 at the Fort Wayne City Council meeting.

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