OCEAN CITY – The drug K2 is to become illegal by early next week as the Mayor and City Council, as well as the county, moves swiftly to ban the product.
“On the Boardwalk this summer, it has come to our attention that there is a product being sold, K2, it has various different names,” Police Chief Bernadette DiPino said. “It is a synthetic chemically enhanced herbal substance.”
DiPino explained that it is sold in the form of incense and is paired up with the sale of drug paraphernalia and products that if consumed would allow individuals to pass drug urine analysis tests.
The chief added that there has already been five drug overdoses in Ocean City just this summer due to K2.
“This causes us great concern for the safety of our citizens and our visitors, especially of our younger people,” DiPino said.
In the past the Mayor and City Council has banned the distribution of Salvia, a synthetic form of marijuana, through an emergency ordinance, and DiPino asked them this week to do the same with K2.
DiPino asked the ordinance to include the elimination of drug paraphernalia, K2 and any substance similar to it.
“If the item is shown by the people selling it to be some type of high caused from that item and they are presenting and representing it as an item to get an individual high, that should also be banned and included in the ordinance,” DiPino said.
Mayor Rick Meehan said to outlaw K2 and other drug paraphernalia is the right step.
“This involves the health, safety and welfare of our community, our residents, and our visitors,” he said.
Meehan added the item is to be addressed in the next legislative session nine months from now and the town needs to take action immediately.
“The key word you mentioned is being proactive and I appreciate the measures you are taking,” State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby said in response to the mayor’s comment.
Council Present Jim Hall said Worcester County Attorney Sonny Bloxom is also on standby to enact legislation with the County Commission to knock out K2 from the entire county as well.
The council had no hesitations as it approved the motion to have K2 and similar substances made illegal in Ocean City. Meehan agreed to approve the emergency ordinance at Monday night’s Mayor and City Council meeting.
“Chief, you made it real easy when you told us there was five overdoses this summer here in Ocean City because of this so it was the right thing to do,” Councilman Doug Cymek said.