Oxford city leaders are banning the synthetic marijuana- also known as "Spice." The drug has been sold legally for over a year, but during that time dozens of Alabama teens have been hospitalized. It's even been linked to two suicides. Families affected by the drug along with Oxford city authorities are hoping the ban will protect Alabama teenagers.
"Due to the urgent nature of this issue, we have to act now," Oxford City Councilman Steven Waits said.
Leaders in the city of Oxford are not waiting on the Alabama State Legislature to ban the sale and distribution of spice.
"You can get the agitation, paranoia, vomiting, and that can last 8-10 hours," Dr. Ann Slattery, Children's of Alabama said. "Then you can have psychotic effects - and those are the ones that can last days to months."
That's just what happened to Joe Clark's 19 year old son, Brandon, whose death is linked to "Spice."
"He loved life and all of a sudden he started changing and we didn't know why," Joe Clark said.
The Clark family, along with several others have partnered with the city to get this synthetic marijuana off shelves.
"The main reason I'm here today is that we can't save our son, but maybe we can save someone else's child," Clark said. "We didn't have any idea what this stuff was or what it would do to anybody."
Two suicides and 56 emergency room visits are linked to Spice. We met a woman who's a recovering addict - she told us, it almost killed her.
"You just don't know. It's not FDA regulated, it's not moderated. I don't know how they get away with this. They put that disclaimer, 'fatal if consumed' just so they can get away with it," she said.
The Oxford Police Department says they just won't tolerate the sale or distribution of "Spice." If business owners do not comply, they'll be arrested, fined, and lose their business license.
The legislature is expected to vote on the bill during the first quarter of 2012.
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