The Wayne County Department of Public Health today issued an imminent danger order for substances commonly referred to as synthetic marijuana, or K2, Spice and bath salts.
The order is also the first part of a five-point response to the threat posed by the rapid expansion of availability and use in Wayne County:
1.) The Department of Public Health has begun implementing a public awareness campaign that includes social media outreach, live web chats and public service announcements.
2.) Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano signed a Health Emergency Imminent Danger Order on June 5. The order is pursuant to section 333.2451 of the Public Health Code of the State of Michigan and bans the sale of K2 and other synthetic marijuana compounds.
3.) The Wayne County – Drug Overdose Task Force will meet to discuss enforcement tactics. This task force was originally created to address the Fentenayl issue. The taskforce was later renamed and continues to meet to address drug-related issues in the county.
4.) A health advisory was sent to all Wayne County health care providers on June 4 and provides background information on K2 and other synthetic marijuana drugs and what health care workers can do if presented with patients exhibiting symptoms of substance abuse.
5.) Wayne County has opened a 24-hour emergency hotline at 734-727-7163 to report retailers that continue to sell these substances.
“Wayne County is declaring an imminent danger to control the expanding problem of serious health effects associated with synthetic marijuana, and particularly its usage among young people,” said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.
The order covers all types of synthetic marijuana and bath salts known by numerous brand names. These substances have been linked to individuals suffering damaging psychological and physical effects, even death. All persons in the Wayne County Health Department jurisdiction that includes the 42 Wayne County communities outside of Detroit are immediately ordered to cease selling, trading, giving, bartering, serving, providing or otherwise making available such substances.
Furthermore, the order states that individuals shall immediately surrender such products or substances to the Wayne County Sheriff, local law enforcement or the Wayne County Department of Public Health until the imminent danger has been removed by a further order. The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department plans to aggressively pursue any store or retail outlet selling the items.
Wayne County is also working with legislators to ensure that bills currently going through the state legislature to ban such products have enough flexibility to address the ongoing issue.
“County health officials are acting in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Public Health so ensure that unscrupulous manufacturers are unable to circumvent the law by altering the chemical composition or labeling of these products,” said Ficano.
The order will remain in effect until it is determined that the threat to public health and lives no longer exists. Additional public health information is available toll free at 1-866-266-8336 or on Wayne County’s website, waynecounty.com and through Facebook at K2 Spice Awareness Day.
Source: Wayne County Health and Human Services Department