Algonquin Board Moves To Outlaw Artificial Marijuana   Leave a comment

by First Electric Newspaper LLC

The Algonquin Village Board Tuesday gave initial approval to a new ordinance banning sale, possession or use of synthetic marijuana within the village.  When formally approved it would make Algonquin the first community in McHenry and northern Kane counties to ban “incense” treated with lab versions of cannabinoids, stimulants or hallucinogens that are legal in the sense that the Drug Enforcement Agency hasn’t had time to outlaw them yet.

“Our officers talked to some of the kids,” said Chief Russ Laine.  “They say they have it because it’s legal, it’s easy to get and you can’t fail a (drug) test for it.”

Activists complained to the Board earlier this month that synthetic marijuana was a danger to local youth but readily available in local head and tobacco shops.  Laine agreed the stuff was dangerous.  “The results…you don’t know what the results will be. Just in Algonquin we’ve had hallucinations, convulsions, aggressive behavior.”

The proposed ordinance is based on one drafted by Aurora and the North Central Narcotics Task Force to combat the problem there.  It bans sale, possession or use of 16 cannabinoid compounds, 17 stimulants plus 4 different ways to turn them into something else that still works and 8 psychedelics “including salts, isomers, esters and ethers of salts of isomers”.  Laine said the Aurora ordinance passed only a couple of months ago so it still hasn’t encountered a legal challenge yet.

Member Bob Smith had problems with an absence of what lawyers call criminal intent.  “Does this mean someone could be pulled over having a legal product they bought legally (elsewhere) and arrested here?” he asked.  Yes, answered Village attorney Kelly Cahill because, “It’s not a criminal ordinance, it’s a civil act,” she said.  “It’s the only way we can handle it.”

The only question still unresolved is the penalty.  The draft called for a $750 fine but President John Schmitt thought it ought to be more.  “Maybe if it was $2,000 the parents would get involved and it would get some attention,” he said.  If there’s a whopping fine, “I’ll take the blame, and I know there’ll be some, if I have to,” he said.

Another ordinance change given first approval Tuesday would tighten up a village ban on drug paraphernalia.  Laine said, essentially, it doesn’t outlaw having “bongs and hookahs and pipes”, just ones with evidence they’ve ever been used.

Posted December 14, 2011 by greggornation in Drugs/Alcohol, Family

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