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Small Maryland town passes ban on synthetic drugs

To the northwest of Baltimore sits the town of Thurmont. Like any other city council, Thurmont’s is interested in protecting its citizens’ health and safety. And, like many other cities, the city council’s actions may sometimes be an overly broad attempt at fixing what it sees as a problem. That certainly appears to be the case in its new ban on Spice and K2, two very popular synthetic drugs.

There has been considerable confusion in Maryland and across the United States about the legality of synthetic drugs. Certain formulas are banned by the federal government, while others are not. In some cases, the drugs are prohibited by a local or state government, but are legal in the eyes of the federal government. All of these different rules and minor variances likely make it difficult for anyone who owns, sells or manufactures these drugs, as it seems the rules are changing all the time.

The town of Thurmont can now add its name to the list of municipalities that have specifically banned two formulas of synthetic marijuana that are legal nearly everywhere else. The unanimously-supported town ordinances create a $250 fine for anyone who is in possession of the drugs. Of course, the reason behind the ordinance is to protect people, but just because a drug has the potential to be dangerous doesn’t mean that it should be banned outright.

Much like K2 and Spice, alcohol, if used improperly, can be very dangerous. It can affect mood, upset the body’s systems and wreak other havoc, but the town of Thurmont has not moved to ban alcohol sales or consumption. Instead, there is a culture of education around alcohol, teaching young adults when it is appropriate to drink, how much is appropriate to drink and regulating the consumption, but not banning it. If Thurmont was really interested in protecting its citizens from the potential dangers of synthetic drugs, they would consider regulation, not prohibition.

Source: Your 4 State, “Thurmont Police Praise Town Commissioners for Passing Spice Ban,” Dawn White, Oct. 24, 2012

If you want to learn more about this ban, please see the source above. If you want to learn about the seriousness of drug possession charges in Maryland, please visit our website.

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