Police confiscate "K2" from South Sioux City stores

2011-02-23T20:27:00Z Police confiscate "K2" from South Sioux City storesBy Molly Montag mmontag@siouxcityjournal.com Sioux City Journal

SOUTH SIOUX CITY - Police confiscated synthetic marijuana from two stores in South Sioux City tonight after Gov. Dave Heineman signed an emergency measure today that bannedsale of that class of chemicals.

Lawmakers passed the measure banning "K2" or "spice" earlier this month. Because it carries an emergency clause, the law went into effect immediately.

South Sioux City Police Sergeant Chris Chernock said officers took K2 from Exotica and Sam's Tobacco Hut on Wednesday night. Officials at both stores were cooperative, he said, although staff at Exotica hesitated because of questions about when the new law went into effect.

"Once we told these shop owners and (shop) keepers it was illegal they acknowledged they were OK with that," Chernock said.

As of tonight, Chernock said no one was being charged with a crime for having the chemicals in stock.

The measure, introduced by Omaha Sen. Beau McCoy, targets a substance often called "K2" or "spice" - a mixture of herbs and spices sprayed with a synthetic compound similar to the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Users smoke it in roll-up cigarettes or pipes.

McCoy and law enforcement officials say some K2 users have had seizures, and the drug has been blamed for the death last year of an Iowa teenager.

The retail sale of K2 in South Sioux City had officers concerned, Chernock said, even though it was being marketed as something other than a drug.

"It was being marketed as an incense and all over the packaging it said not for humane consumption," Chernock said.

The new law puts Nebraska in line with Kansas and Missouri, which already banned the substance.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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