Monroe Co. bans synthetic marijuana sales

Monroe County has now banned the selling of synthetic marijuana and bath salts.
Monroe County has now banned the selling of synthetic marijuana and bath salts.

MONROE, MI (Toledo News Now) – Synthetic marijuana and bath salts have been illegal in the Buckeye state for some time, but they are still legal just across the border in Michigan.

Now one county has taken a proactive approach to get those products out of their stores.

Monroe County Health Department, in a cooperation with the Monroe County Prosecutor's office, has issued an emergency order, effectively banning all synthetic drugs county wide.

Two days ago WTOL 11 spoke with local officials on the dangers that synthetic marijuana and bath salts posed to residents of Monroe County.

"It is extremely dangerous, and we want to make sure that parents are aware of that, that youth are are aware of that, and that it's not something that kids are experimenting with." said April Demers with the Monroe County Substance Abuse Program.

The synthetic drugs were even in the crosshairs of the Monroe Prosecuting Attorney's office.

"Because of the fact that it's poison, and it's injuring and killing our children in our state, or causing them to do just unspeakable acts." said Joe Costello, Assistant Chief Prosecutor with the Monroe County Prosecutor's office.

And though the Michigan legislature is taking up the issue of synthetic marijuana and bath salts during their summer session, Monroe County wanted the drugs off of store shelves immediately.

"I frankly didn't think it was moving quickly enough at the state level, and we simply didn't want to wait." said Costello.

So they went to the Monroe County Health Department, who today issued an emergency order, saying synthetic marijuana and bath salts pose an immenent danger to public health, making the substances immediately illegal to sell, trade or posses in the county.

Kim Comerzan is with the Monroe County Health Department as said, "If there's anything we can do to try and get the product off the market or off the shelf as soon as we can, that's really sort of the goal."

They also hope this stops people from Ohio, where both substances are already illegal, from coming to Monroe to buy the products.

"We absolutely hope it nips it in the bud wherever the kids may be getting access to it." said Comerzan

Officials are expecting stores with the substances in stock, to remove them today.

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