LACONIA — With one dissenting vote, the City Council on Monday night adopted an ordinance proposed by the Police Department that prohibits the possession and sale of synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as "spice," K2" and a number of other names, within the limits of the city.
Modeled on those adopted by Franklin, Tilton and Belmont, the ordinance would make it illegal to sell, barter, give display, possess or transport any material or mixture containing synthetic cannabinoids. The specific chemical designations of the illicit compounds are set forth in the ordinance. Those found in violation of the would be liable to a fine of $500 for each and all illicit material would be seized and destroyed by the Police Department.
"Spice" can be any one of dozens of chemical compounds fashioned to mimic the effects of marijuana. However, toxicologists claim that comparing the effects of spice to marijuana is like comparing an air rifle to an assault rifle.
Although marketed as incense, spice is smoked and ingested, sometimes with dire effects. In August, Governor Maggie Hassan declared a state of emergency after 41 people in Manchester suffered "serious medical reactions," half of them requiring treatment in hospitals, from using spice. Likewise, that same month three people in Concord using spice were hospitalized within 24 hours.
Only Councilor David Bownes (Ward 2), an attorney, dissented. He noted that the police conducted an investigation, but found no stores offering spice for sale in the city. He also questioned what he called "the factual basis" for supposing spice posed a threat to the city. "It's difficult to conclude that what we're prohibiting is dangerous," he said, "Don't pass ordinances just because other cities are doing it."
NOTES: City Manager reported that the city issued 176 building permits between April 1 and October 31, compared to 162 during the same period a year ago, with an aggregate value of $21.5-million, compared to $13.8-million in 2013 and $8.8-million in 2012. . . . . . The City Council unanimously agreed to sell a patch of land 12 feet wide and 16 feet deep on Winnisquam Avenue alongside Martel's Bait & Sport Shop to Ralph and Jacqueline Langevin for $20,000. The city purchased the land in 1950 to provide access to two sanitary sewer siphons. The Langevins have granted the city an easement to access the sewer pipes that run under the Winnipesaukee River.
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