FREDERICK, MD - Spice, or synthetic marijuana, is now illegal in a second city in Frederick County, Maryland and a third town is considering a ban.
Frederick City police are hoping spice will be a thing of the past. The Frederick Board of Alderman unanimously approved banning it in the city.
"These people don't even know what they've taken. The health professionals don't know how to treat them because there's no list of ingredients. They don't even know what they've done until they've done it," said Michael O'Connor (D), Frederick Alderman.
Now police can charge people who sell, buy, or transport spice with a criminal misdemeanor of up to $1,000, 90 days in jail or both per offense.
"If someone were to sell one package, that would be one offense. If they sell another package, it's another offense. It doesn't matter if it's a small amount or a large amount," said Cpt. Thomas Ledwell, Frederick City Police.
Police went to Classic Cigars and British Goodies and handed the ordinance to employee Nicole Baker. She signed it saying the store is aware of the ordinance and will no longer sell spice. Police also handed out the ordinance to several other Frederick businesses.
"It's affected this company in particular because we've lost a lot of income coming in, and we could possibly lose half of our staff members because of it," Baker said.
Police say they'll be ready to make arrests if they catch people violating the ordinance by the end of this week.
"We've done some investigation to see whether they've stopped, and we have the ability to make arrests and to enforce," Ledwell said. "We're just waiting for some specific language from the state's attorney's office for filling out the charging documents."
"I think it's absurd," Baker said. "If it's legal, let them be. They're adults. That's part of living in the United States, being able to have that freedom, and you're taking everybody's freedom away."
Now Walkersville may follow in Frederick's footsteps. A commissioner presented his own ordinance at a meeting Wednesday night. Walkersville officials are expected to vote on their possible ban sometime in December.
State Senator Ron Young (D), of Frederick and Washington Counties, will sponsor a state-wide spice ban bill during next year's session in Annapolis.