• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 48s

‘Spice’ outlawed across Alaska

By KTVA Alaska Photojournalist: Jacob Curtis - 6:50 PM July 16, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

“Spice” is now illegal across the state.

Wednesday morning, Gov. Sean Parnell signed a law aimed at getting the substance out of the hands of Alaskans.

Lawmakers and law enforcement said they hope signing Senate Bill 173 into law will initiate the end of a years-long game of chase.

“It’s been like chasing smoke trying to get your hands around it,” said Anchorage Police Department Chief Mark Mew. “I think we’ve tried three different forms of law by now.”

The law addresses any person or business found in possession of any package containing blatantly misleading labeling in Alaska.

“When we can see the disconnect between the packaging and how it’s being marketed and sold, it’s a $500 fine,” Mew said.

When asked if he thought the law would make an impact on Spice users, former Spice addict “James” said: “it might, but the addiction is so strong.”

KTVA agreed to keep James’ identity hidden due to his probation, which is actually how he said his addiction to Spice began.

“It’s almost like a substitute for weed,” James said. “That’s what you think at first.”

A seizure and week-long withdrawals after months of use proved Spice was much more serious, he said.

“I went into debt almost because of it and that’s crazy to say because you can get it at the store, any smoke shop, but it’s addictive,” James said.

Though synthetic substances have been banned in the municipality for months, James said it still isn’t hard to come by.

“I know you can still get it in Anchorage from the smoke shop owners,” James said. “They still sell it underground to the people that used to get it. They still do that. I know people that get it from them.”

Whether this new statewide law will initiate the end of synthetic drug consumption or just be another move to be countered by synthetic-drug makers remains to be seen. But lawmakers and this recovering user agree it is a move in the right direction.

The $500 penalty is a civil fine, not criminal. If it’s not paid, the money will be taken out of your permanent fund dividend, according to APD.

Latest Stories

  • News

    North Korea launches short-range ballistic missile, U.S. military says

    by CBS News on May 28, 19:06

    North Korea on Sunday launched a short-range ballistic missile, the U.S. Pacific Command said. The missile was tracked for six minutes until it landed in the Sea of Japan, the U.S. Pacific Command said. The White House said President Trump had been briefed on the launch. This is the ninth missile test North Korea has […]

  • Living on water: Welcome to Freedom Cove

    by CBS News on May 28, 19:02

    While many people have made a houseboat their abode, Lee Cowan has found a designing couple who’s taken the idea of waterborne living even further: Wayne Adams rarely sets a foot on dry land … not even when he makes his way home to his wife, Catherine King, because their home ebbs and flows with […]

  • The hottest pepper in the world? Beware the ‘Dragon’s Breath’

    by CBS News on May 28, 18:58

    Farmers in Wales may have the world’s hottest chili pepper on their hands, according to British media reports. Mike Smith reportedly grew a chili pepper that smashes all previous heat records — all by accident. Smith said he never intended to breed a particularly spicy pepper and he doesn’t even like foods with heat, The […]

  • News

    Alcohol suspected in serious Seward Highway crash

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 28, 16:06

    The Seward Highway was completely closed in both directions for about five hours overnight following a crash at mile 76 near Portage Glacier Road. The crash occurred sometime just before 11 p.m. and the road finally reopened to traffic around 4 a.m. Anchorage Police say a northbound BMW crossed over into the oncoming traffic late […]

  • News

    1 dead in head-on Glenn Highway collision

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 28, 15:59

    The Anchorage Police Department’s Traffic Unit is trying to determine what caused an SUV to lose control and cause a fatal crash Saturday. About 15 minutes after midnight Saturday morning, APD says a Chevy Suburban inbound on the Glenn Highway lost control, crossed the center median and struck a Ford Focus head-on. The driver of […]

  • News

    Pedestrian struck, killed on Gambell

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 28, 15:54

    Anchorage Police are investigating a fatal crash involving a pedestrian. Just before 3 a.m. Saturday, a late model Chevy Malibu traveling southbound on Gambell Street struck a pedestrian. Police say the pedestrian, who has not yet been identified, was in the roadway outside of a crosswalk when he was hit. The man was taken to […]

  • Politics

    On first day back, Trump lashes out at ‘fake news media’

    by CBS News on May 28, 14:44

    WASHINGTON — Hours after returning from his first trip abroad as president, President Trump tweeted Sunday morning about “fake news media” and White House leaks. “It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media,” Mr. Trump said in a series […]

  • News

    US official mulling greatly expanding airplane laptop ban

    by Associated Press on May 28, 11:30

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says he’s considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. The current ban was […]