K2/Spice Synthetic Marijuana Easy to Buy at Royal Oak Gas Stations

A Beaumont naturopathic doctor answers questions about the dangers of the easy to get drug.

It’s legal, lethal and available in Royal Oak gas stations and convenience stores. K2, also known as Spice, is a synthetic substance marketed as an alternative to marijuana. It’s reportedly behind the weekend found uncooperative and speaking incoherently on his lawn and a 19-year-old Troy teen arrested for erratic driving early Monday morning.

Most notably, , 19, of Farmington Hills is believed to have been high on synthetic marijuana in April when he attacked his family, .

Spice is a form of synthetic marijuana that is commonly sold as incense, or potpourri. It was originally sold under the name K2, but legislation banned K2 in Michigan in October 2010. Since the ban, manufacturers are finding ways around the legislation by manufacturing variations of the banned substance, eliminating the chemicals that caused the original K2 to be banned.

According to an article in The Journal of School Safety, one in nine high school seniors has used synthetic marijuana in the past year.

With no ingredient list, and little history or testing done on the product, users – often teenagers, because there are no legal limits on to whom it can be sold –don’t quite know what they’re smoking when they take a hit of Spice.

Royal Oak Commissioner Peggy Goodwin, who sits on the Crime Prevention Council, is working with Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue and others on ways to keep , including trying to keep synthetic marijuana away from teens.

“The chief has sent me a list of five places in Royal Oak where Spice is available for purchase,” Goodwin said. Even though Royal Oak does not have any cases that directly link Spice use to crimes, "there is no question it is dangerous,” she said.

The following businesses are selling K-2/Spice, according to O'Donohue's list:

  • at 4727 Coolidge
  • at 1617 E. 12 Mile
  • at 1201 N. Campbell
  • at 624 E. 11 Mile
  • at 1621 E. 11 Mile

Goodwin is asking residents to be eyes and ears for public safety and to call the police at 248-246-3500 if you see Spice for sale in Royal Oak.

Spice Q&A

Hallie Armstrong is a naturopathic doctor who specializes in natural therapies, including herbal medicine and mind-body medicine. Royal Oak Patch asked her about K2/Spice and its effects.

Patch: How do synthetic marijuana makers get away with this? Aren't they using substances that are banned?

Armstrong: The substances in the products are not illegal, they are not listed as controlled substances. With all "natural" products, there is little regulation, so it is important to check with your health care provider before you ingest any thing, even if it does come from a health food store or is available over the counter.

Patch: Is use of this product detectable in conventional drug tests?

Armstrong: Although it is not detectable in conventional drug tests, it is still important to remember that does not mean it's safe. No long-term studies have been done on synthetic marijuana so we do not know what it will do to us.

Patch: What kind of effect and/or side effects does it have?

Armstrong: It is reported that synthetic marijuana gives a similar high to marijuana but does not last as long. It is thought that it could cause some serious lung irritation. However, because no long-term studies have been done, we simply do not know the effects. It is also unknown what all is in each individual brand. The ingredients on the label do not always match the ingredients in the container. It is safest to stay away from the substance until further research is done.

Patch: What signs can a parent look for that their child may be a user?

Armstrong: Fake weed looks like a mixture of different shades of green herbs that are sold in small packets or Zip Lock bags. It is most important to talk to your children about the potential danger of using synthetic marijuana or any type of drug or natural supplement. Education and communication is the best way to tell if children are curious or have questions about substance abuse.

Austin May 23, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Good work, Hallie Armstrong, thank you for being unbiased and for only stating the facts. As for you Judy, im really getting tired of the "Think of the kids!" mentality. Just because a half dozen out of millions that have tried this stuff, dosnt mean everyone is gonna have a bad reaction. I know many people that speak from experience that say, its safe as long as you dont over do it. And banning it will only make the problem worse. The active ingredient in spice was made to study the effects of marijuana. If marijuana was legal, we as a society would not be worrying about these issues.
Mors Hostibus May 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Judy keep up the fantastic work!!! Austin needs to step away from the bong and stop the K2. His spitle spewing anger over a simple expose of dangerous drugs is a warning of a pending violent psychotic breakdown. I hope that he does not have any sharp objects or baseball bats. Austin is obviously a substance abuser and should be closely watched. Get his IP address to the ROPD.
Ed Lambert May 24, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Royal Oak has a reputation as a magnet for the "free spirit' types. In such an environment it will be difficult to gain the voluntary compliance of merchants to refrain from selling "stuff." Besides, what's the big deal? When the "free spirits" need a trip to the emergency room, the bill's paid for by the taxpayers. How can we complain about that?
will lister May 25, 2012 at 01:42 AM
ya that was "obviously" a psychotic breakdown. Marijuana is bad for you, drink your beer and go to bed America.
drs May 25, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Hey Austin, it is about the kids. The article stated that one out of nine kids have tried it. This is some scary stuff that kids are using and have to use more and more to get higher. I hope that you encourage your friends not to use it,
Ronald Wolf May 29, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Not all gas stations are owned by Chaldeans, however if enough people contact the Chaldean Chamber of Commerce and request their cooperation in this on going problem that involves more than just one brand of this canned spice or incense (one with a picture of Bob Marley) it would be a beginning. Another tactic is asking directly if they carry it and if you see it on the shelf (remember the infamous PCP, or "angel dust") inform that business that you have no intention of being their customer as long as they carry it and walk out.
Ronald Wolf May 29, 2012 at 06:28 PM
For the heck of it I called all five of the listed stations to warn them that they are listed. One was too busy BP 4727 Coolidge, Marathon at 1621 E 11 said if he did not sell it someone else will and he only sells to over 21 and yes he also sells "pipes". He did listen and I believe he will stop however he had a point about the State failing to take action. Meanwhile what is going on with good old "Noir leather" who sells a similar herb (forgot the name). Is that the same stuff? What ever happened to "mellow yellow" you know, "baked bananna skin lining", that was a hoax? The best way to stop a problem is to boycott those causing it. Thats what I love about Patch, it gives you and I the common people collective clout. Maybe our mayor and a few on the council will figure that out just before the next election when they suddenly seem to listen more (emphasis on seem).
Ronald Wolf May 29, 2012 at 06:36 PM
And I thought I was the only one with a facetious sense of humor. You can do something Ed and if enough people call those five businesses maybe, maybe they will get the hint. Be polite though, just tell them you do not approve and will not go into any business selling that "stuff". Ironically cigarettes kill far more people, but where kids are concerned that is a serious matter.
Ronald Wolf May 29, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Austin, you remind of when I was a science teacher in Hells Kitchen (West Side Story) and I was lecturing a seventh grade class on the dangers inherent in a burning cigarette as hundreds of chemicals are generated in the burning, condensation, and reburning of organic tars. Yolanda raised her hand and asked if she could say something. I said ok, after all as that Virginia Slim commercial was blaring on the radio at the time to young girls who loved to sing the jingle :"You've come a long way baby". Yolanda said: "Try smoking and try not smoking and you will see you like smoking like I do, thats all" There was some laughing from the class but years later when I ran into Yolanda on the street she reminded me of what happenned and said "I went home and thought about what you had said and I quit." So, there is a lesson here Austin, I hope you can pick up on it before you decide to continue what cannot help you, and more than possible, can seriously hurt you.
Steve May 30, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Trents Market has been around for your years. I've been going there for 35 years and never had a problem with anyone that has worked there. The store is super clean and there prices are very cheap!! I heard they have a special on Budweiser 24pk cans at $14.99!!!!
Ronald Wolf May 31, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Steve I thought you were smarter than that. I am disappointed. Did you read Judy David's article at all? If they know they are selling something that is harmful and being abused by ignorant kids half your age and deaths have been associated with it how can you support them no matter how nice they are to you personally?
Davis Love III July 26, 2012 at 08:50 PM
You people need to try smoking the stuff for Pete's sake. If you do not want to do it; don't. If you do not want your kids doing it; talk to them about it and educate them. You are the same people that think gambling should be outlawed and the government needs to do your job as parents and outlaw everything that might hurt children so you do not have to be a parent. If you don't like it don't do it but stay out of everyone else's lives. Our goverment screws up 99% of what they get involved in so YOU be responsible for your children and teach them right from wrong and stop whinning about the stuff. I rasied two good boys that are healthy and happy because I stayed involved in their lives and with their friends. I never once tried to dump my duties as a parant off on the govt. GROW UP you whiney babies and let em smoke all they want. There is a reason why the lion eats the old, sick and retarded animals. It's called thinning the herd and by outlawing everything that thins out the human herd these losers mate and reproduce another generation of losers. SMOKE, DRINK , GAMBLE & PLAY WITH GUNS I say so the normal, smart ones of us don't have to deal with them.
Kimberly Kroll October 18, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I wAnt to buy synthetic prettylady1374@gmail.com
Lance Corpral Ripps November 24, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Why don't we just give up the synthetic crap and legalize the cannabis
Big Truth January 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM
Had a punk neighbor high on this stuff acting crazy last summer. Went over to beat the snot out of him, taking his money and ID. Would luv to do this again and get some more jollies from some other idiot dude, maybe your son. Just call and I'll be there.


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