• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 52s

Assembly passes ‘Spice’ ordinance

By Kirsten Swann 7:06 AM January 15, 2014

The ordinance approved by Anchorage Assembly members at Tuesday night’s meeting hones in on the packaging and labeling of the drug.

ANCHORAGE – After hearing a string of Anchorage residents speak up in favor of the measure, local lawmakers voted unanimously to tighten restrictions on the synthetic drug known as “Spice.”

The drug – often sold as potpourri or incense – is currently available at more than 20 retailers citywide. While the drug was prohibited by the state several years ago, the law focused on the chemical composition of the product and sellers were able to skirt the ban by changing the makeup of the drug.

The ordinance approved by Anchorage Assembly members at Tuesday night’s meeting hones in on the packaging and labeling of the drug.

According to the new law, synthetic drugs are defined as “any crystalline, liquid or powder product in crystalline, loose powder, block, tablet, tabs, paper, blotter paper or capsule form, or any stimulant-type product, when..the label is in any way false or misleading, or which does not contain a label specifying: the identity of the commodity; and the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor.”

The law penalizes both the sale and use of the drug.

During the public hearing preceeding the vote, the Anchorage residents and social service providers who testified all expressed support for the new law.

Many shared personal stories. David Rittenberg, a program manager at Brother Francis Shelter, said the shelter has seen a sharp upswing in Spice-related offenses over the past year. Because it fell in a “legal gray area,” Rittenberg said many shelter clients believed it was safe to use.

“The bottom line is that it’s a very, very dangerous drug,” he said.

Shawn Williams, a 34-year Anchorage resident and downtown business owner, told Assembly members he had recently seen a man pass out cold on the street outside his office after smoking Spice purchased from a shop a few blocks away.

“I just want to say that it really bothers me that there are approximately 20 businesses in Anchorage selling this stuff legally,” Williams said.

Ultimately, lawmakers agreed, voting to prohibit the sale of the drug in Anchorage shops. East Anchorage Assemblyman Adam Trombley was absent for the vote, and West Anchorage representative Patrick Flynn cast his vote by phone.

“Thrilled to vote yes, Mr. Chairman,” Flynn said.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Alaska Gov.-elect Walker names 4 to positions

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 23:27

    Alaska Gov.-elect Bill Walker on Tuesday announced four new staff members, including an attorney general. Walker said in a release that Craig Richards will serve as attorney general. Richards said he’ll be reviewing the status of the National Guard investigation and the state’s lawsuit that is trying to reinstate the ban on same-sex marriage. Walker […]

  • News

    Vehicle leaves Parks Highway, strikes sled dog team near Willow

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 25, 21:48

    A musher is in the hospital after a car veered off the Parks Highway Tuesday night and hit a sled dog team. At around 7:30 p.m., authorities responded to Mile 91 of the highway in the Willow area. There, they found a seriously injured musher and numerous sled dogs. Mat-Su spokesperson Patty Sullivan says a […]

  • Lifestyle

    Artists in Alaska plan to add a little color to Black Friday

    by Shannon Ballard on Nov 25, 20:10

    Life needs color, says Lori Teich. That explains why nearly everything she owns is splattered with paint. Teich says she started experimenting with acrylic after serving five years in the U.S. Coast Guard. “I’ve kind of always had that urge to do it,” she said. It’s the one thing that helps her relax. Painting even transferred color […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Nov. 25

    by KTVA Weather on Nov 25, 20:05

      Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Skies will be sunny with early morning fog. Southeast Lots of sunshine to the north. Partly sunny skies in the southern inner channels. Interior and North Slope Skies will cloudy and temperatures falling again. Interior Alaska received its first measurable snowfall of November today with nearly six inches […]

  • Sports

    Great Alaska Shootout brings former Dimond player home

    by KTVA Sports on Nov 25, 19:48

    Boise State guard Keiahnna Engel is home. The former Dimond High School standout is back in Anchorage, but she is not here to visit family. This trip is all business. “I’m so used to her wanting to like come bug me and come hang out and stuff and all that type of weird sisterly things […]

  • News

    Sullivan Arena sees competition as Great Alaska Shootout moves to UAA

    by Heather Hintze on Nov 25, 19:39

    The only shootout you’ll find at the Sullivan Arena this week will be on the ice. For the first year since it opened in 1983, the arena isn’t hosting the GCI Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament.  Instead, a hockey team from Northern Michigan is practicing there before heading up to Fairbanks. “It’s obviously one of […]

  • News

    1 dead, multiple injured in Sterling Highway vehicle crash

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 25, 19:29

    One person is dead and others injured in a Tuesday evening vehicle collision on the Sterling Highway. At 5:40 p.m., Alaska State Troopers responded to a two-vehicle crash at Mile 146 of the highway, in the Happy Valley area, said AST spokeswoman Megan Peters in an email. The highway is closed while first responders are on-scene. […]

  • News

    East Anchorage neighbors worry about injured moose

    by Lauren Maxwell on Nov 25, 18:45

    The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is urging people who live in an East Anchorage neighborhood to leave an injured moose alone. But that’s particularly hard for Dan Main. The large bull is lying down in Main’s yard and has barely moved since Monday. “Our concern is the animal,” said Main. “We aren’t worried […]