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Police cite businesses selling ‘Spice’

By KTVA CBS 11 News 7:02 PM January 23, 2014

Police issue three $500 tickets

ANCHORAGE - Police are starting to crack down on local shops that openly sell the designer street drug called “Spice.”

APD said officers issued three warnings to stores around town along with a $500 fine.

Last week the Anchorage Assembly made it illegal to improperly label substances that are clearly meant to be used as drugs but are sold as incense, bath salts and potpourri.

Officers said they went back to the businesses they cited to find they had attempted to change the labels to list “organic” ingredients.

“We haven’t been able to verify this is a different product,” said Sgt. Mark Rein. “Based on what we saw with the potpourri, the names had changed but a lot of the product remained the same. Now the labels have changed to indicate there are organic materials in the product. So we don’t actually know what’s in there.”

Sgt. Rein said the department’s seen a number of negative impacts on people who use Spice. He said he wants the product off the streets.

“It is dangerous to take this stuff into your body to smoke it without knowing what the chemical compound is,” he said. “We don’t know what the long-lasting effect is. We’ve seen the short term effect and it’s not pretty.”

If officers return to a business that’s received a warning and find the same products, the store can be fined $500 for each package that violates the ordinance.

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