FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The Fort Wayne ordinance banning the synthetic drug K2 is now in effect. That means as of today, you can no longer legally buy, sell or use K2. And as of 4:00 p.m. Monday, Fort Wayne police had not issued any citations. Officers visited around a dozen establishments, but so far no sign of the marijuana-like substance.
Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York says, "We have officers from our Vice Narcotics Division going out to different establishments that we've recognized as having sold K2 or Spice in the past, and if they detect that substance on the shelves they'll be issued a city ordinance violation and their stock will be confiscated."
Fort Wayne City Council members voted unanimously last week to ban K2, which is also known as "spice."
Police officials say the challenge will be identifying K2 when removed from it's original packaging due to a lack of field testing resources available at the moment. The ordinance is also only enforceable within city limits. For that reason, they say their top priority is the point of sale or distribution - convenience stores and other businesses selling K2 as incense.
Anyone caught using or selling the drug could face a fine up to $2,500. Some K2 distributors are already considering altering the ingredients and labeling of K2 so the Fort Wayne ordinance and others like it would no longer be applicable.
"This will continually evolve. It's a designer drug and the make up of the active ingredient will change. So, these ordinances are going to have to be looked at, ordinances in various communities, on a regular basis," says York.
York says a state law would make the process easier and more consistent between cities and counties, as well as offer stiffer penalties, including possible jail time.
The Fort Wayne ban expires next July, but officials anticipate state lawmakers passing a statewide ban before then.
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