Salem to ask county to ban synthetic marijuana

Synthetic marijuana /Wikimedia Commons photo, under GNU license

Town attorney Richard Scholze told the board at a meeting Monday night that it is his opinion Wisconsin towns cannot pass such a ban due to state statutes on the powers of towns.

“It’s one of those instances when the villages have the authority, the cities have the authority but I don’t believe the towns do,” Scholze said.

Synthetic marijuana has attracted the attention of local, state and federal authorities recently. It is often sold in convenience stores and is a dried herb like material laced with a designer drug that produces an intense 30 to 60-minute high. It is typically smoked.

Paddock Lake has passed a K2 ban. Twin Lakes appears poised to finalize an ordinance later this month. A ban is also working its way through the Kenosha Common Council.

In addition, a statewide ban will go into effect Jan. 1 in Illinois. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency also is moving to make possessing the substance illegal.

Board members were concerned that without an ordinance, Salem could become a magnet for those looking to purchase the substance. Supervisor Joe Meier pointed out that Salem is bordered by the villages of Paddock Lake, Bristol and Silver Lake.

Chairman Linda Valentine said she would even rather pass an ordinance, enforce it and let it be challenged than go without.

The board settled on contacting County Executive Jim Kreuser asking that a countywide ordinance — which would include Salem — be passed.


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