K2 Supporters Push For Regulation, Against Total Ban

By John W. Davis

July 28, 2010 Updated Jul 28, 2010 at 11:33 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - As the Fort Wayne City Council considers banning synthetic cannabinoid, locally known as "spice" or K2, Indiana's NewsCenter reached out to supporters for their opinion.

Indiana's NewsCenter was first alerted to K2 in June, when a youth group named Students Against Violence Everywhere, protested the sale of K2 at a Marathon gas station on Fort Wayne's south east side.

The supporters that decided to sit-down with Indiana's NewsCenter admit that kids should not smoke K2.

However, instead of a total ban, those supporters are calling for regulation.

"Really the question is, do you have the right to?," said Arthur Saldivar, who is against the total ban of K2 in Fort Wayne.

Saldivar is associated with a legal company that sells K2 to local and national "head shops".

Saldivar said 14 people at his business would be out of a job if K2 sales were banned in the Summit City.

Right now, Fort Wayne City Council is considering banning the weed-like substance but supporters say selling and using K2 is a legal and personal choice.

"I think ultimately it boils down to one's own personal ethics and morals which should not be controlled by any entity outside of yourself," said Saldivar.

Meanwhile, Allen County Health Commissioner Doctor Deborah McMahan said she wants to testify before city council next Tuesday about the negative health impacts of K2.

Dr. McMahan told Indiana's NewsCenter K2 caused increased heart rates, paranoia and panic attacks.

However, supporters said that data comes from very early studies.

"There's no way to show any long terms side effects because it hasn't been around that long or studied for that long," replied Saldivar when questioned about Dr. McMahan's statement.

Meanwhile, supporters say a compromise they could live with is not allowing teenagers and those under the age of 21 to buy the synthetic cannabis-like incense.

"I don't think anyone is arguing for that (kids being able to buy K2) at all... They can right now because there is no regulation, not because there is no ban but because there is no regulation... We definitely need regulation," said Saldivar.

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