Sunday, January 2, 2011

York County steps up effort to ban synthetic marijuana

Angie Theycall Mehippie’s Rant:

Indeed! I agree that synthetic marijuana and all its predecessors, as the companies have pledged to keep pumping out into public hands to spite the crack down and danger of these types of products, is dangerous when inhaled. I have two problems with this: 1. The product is NOT supposed to be inhaled and says so on the label. It was misused. 2. The “keep our kids safe” issue is being utilized to produce more legislature to enforce yet another “drug ban” upon something that is NOT intended to be a drug. It was intended as incense as the fine print on the label says. I, myself, have never and will never buy anything like this. That doesn’t mean others won’t especially kids. The companies make it appealing and the kids (and adults that don’t use sense or read the labeling), which is definitely an issue, do fall for it without reading the labeling. I disagree because I honestly think that parents should police their own kids. In the end that is what it boils down to. If parents would educate their kids on the realities of these products and drugs in general, and by this I mean having open and honest discussions about all drugs and their use without being biased or holding back truth to your kid, then it would make the kids think twice and the products would loose their power to influence kids or get them to buy based on marketing schemes.

With that said, of course I realize we need to protect our kids. The thing is if the state keeps on doing it for the parents then what is the parent’s job in this? If parents keep relying on the state to do it all for them or even part of it we are again thrown into a scenario where the state has the right (because we give it to them) to legislate our kids’ lives and following that legislate our choices as adults and their future. Here’s the point: make smart choices and make the world safer. The world and life in general are dangerous. Every step you take has some element of danger to it. We cannot Nerf the world. We take a step forward we may twist our ankle, fall, and break it. I can testify to that being possible because it happened to me Christmas Eve 2008. I took a step down my front steps and fell down three to a hard, wet and partially frozen ground. I crushed my ankle. My doctor as a kid used to tell my mom that any of us could step out of our front door and an airplane crash and hit us. I thought it an exaggeration until a few years ago I was watching CNN and saw that had happened to a man in New York. If it had been a Nerf plane falling at that speed and on fire that man would have probably still been dead.

Let’s face one fact: kids will try to “get high” legally and not face jail, their ruined future by one drug charge, and to get out of facing their parents and punishment if they can. After all they still want to be “good kids”, right? It looks as if they do to me. This is a problem that prohibition and its lies have created. It’s the domino effect of legislating things of this nature as I’m speaking about.

If parents would research the truth about the reality of the real, non-synthetic, marijuana and educate their kids on that issue instead of waiting for someone else to do it or hiding behind the lies of Refer Madness days things could turn out different for most kids and their choices with drugs. Parents: educate yourselves. I am in no way saying that the parents of this teenager were negligent nor am I judging them in any way. I do not know the circumstances behind the scenes of this news article and do not pretend to know. I am only suggesting a truthful discussion about real drugs along with dangers and good choices in life is in order in all situations. That is not unreasonable. What is unreasonable is giving the state and school systems a right to legislate health and moral issues to “protect” our kids and all of our futures. Once the ball is rolling it will grow to other things as we have seen since Nixon decided not to listen to his own commission to study marijuana and against their decision that marijuana is not as harmful as to be illegal went full steam ahead with his own desires therefore creating Refer Madness and all its avalanche of lies and injustice. Since that decision by Nixon was made we have imprisoned more people than Russia and China combined. We now have the largest prison population in the entire world right here in our country. Over half of that prison population is for non-violent crimes. Most of those numbers are for drug offenses. This is a health issue where real drug abuse and addiction exist but not a legal one.

If we have our kids understanding the truth then I suggest that perhaps they will not seek dangerous ways to “get high”. I do not know the “whys” of these types of actions by our youth. I do know that honest and open conversation with kids go much further in influencing their decisions, if the conversation is truthful no matter what that truth is, than we think and does influence our kids more than anything else. What I’m saying is parents, educate yourself and your kids truthfully.

Let’s police our own kids while educating them. Let’s not take a backseat to the state and makes the decisions ourselves. The legislation of morality is not a legislation that will protect us or our kids in any way. It is more harmful. We should also be responsible for our own safety as adults and for the safety of our kids without the state stepping in. When the state steps in, in most cases, the state oversteps its boundaries and goes much further than we dreamed. A police state can rise from these kinds of ashes.

I do know that a perfect scenario is not present at all times and sometimes parents have no control over their kid once the kid steps out of the home to go out with friends, go to school, to a party or ballgame or wherever that kid is going. That is where the intelligent education steps in. If the kid has enough information to make smart choices chances are they will do just that.

I, personally, do not think those products should exist yet at the same time I know there is a right to free market in the United States. I agree with our system of commerce where everyone has an equal right to acquire wealth and happiness for themselves. I am only asking for us to stop sitting back and allowing the state and federal government to do things for us, decide things for us, and stand up to do it ourselves. We will have more freedom that way.

This also creates a disrespect for the law. That is another important thing we need to counter. If the laws do not tell the truth, as some laws do not and many others should not exist, then that creates a tendency to not believe the law when it is telling the truth. Please wake up to this fact and realize that the future of our kids should be and is still in our hands not the hands of the state.

Make smart choices.

Here is the article:

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 08, 2010 / Updated: Wednesday, Dec. 08, 2010 07:23 AM

Coalition leader: 'Kids are looking for ways to get high. It's nothing new.'

By Toya Graham -


More than a month ago, a Fort Mill teen played Russian roulette with her life.

"A beautiful 17-year-old had taken two hits of "Mary Joy," York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant said Tuesday.

Those hits of Mary Joy, one of several names for synthetic marijuana, made the teen so ill she wound up in the hospital.

"She was incoherent and exhibiting extreme paranoia and anxiety, involuntary muscle jerking and elevated heart rate and blood pressure," Bryant said. "The girl could have died."

The incident is not isolated to Fort Mill, said Keith Wilks of the Rock Hill school district.

"There have been two instances (in Rock Hill schools) of possession," Wilks said about synthetic marijuana. "One was high school. One was middle school."

State and local leaders don't want to lose a young person to synthetic marijuana, a combination of spice and herbal products sprayed with "potent psychotropic drugs." It is sold legally in Rock Hill conveniences stores and neighboring Charlotte businesses, but change is on the way.

"Effective Christmas Day, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) will make it officially banned in the United States," Winthrop University Police Chief Frank Zebedis said Tuesday during an informational breakfast at the Moss Justice Center in York. "That's at the federal level.

"We can only enforce at general sessions court level," Zebedis said. "It's very important that we get it through legislation."

The federal ban is not a permanent fix, he said.

"It will only be in effect for 12 months with the ability to be extended six months," Zebedis said.

Last week, the Fort Mill school board adopted a resolution to ban synthetic marijuana. A few days later, the South Carolina School Board Association took a stance.

"We passed a resolution encouraging state legislators to ban synthetic marijuana," said Diane Dasher, a member of Fort Mill school board and York County All On Board Coalition.

Coalition members, along with local law enforcement and community leaders, are gearing up to take their request to Columbia.

"We hope that we bring awareness and some action to do whatever we have to do locally to get this K2, Spice and other synthetic marijuana products off the streets and out of the hands of our youth," said Jane Alleva, director of All On Board Coalition.

The move is about stopping people from sniffing or otherwise digesting the drug that can smell like spices or fruit.

"This is a dangerous new trend," said Janet Martini of Keystone. "We are not only seeing K2 use in our teens but also in our adults as it is becoming widespread each day."

Using synthetic marijuana, she said, is risky business akin to Russian roulette.

"You just don't know what you're going to get," she said. Side effects could include slipping into a coma, hallucinations or death.

A move is growing to make selling and using synthetic marijuana illegal in the state.

"I think it's wonderful," said S.C. Sen. Wes Hayes, R-Rock Hill. "It sends a message."

Hayes has prefiled a bill in the state Senate to ban synthetic marijuana.

"You can count on me," he said. "It's important for the community to get mobilized, stay mobilized and push legislation to do this."

Without the bill, the legal sales and abuse of synthetic marijuana will continue to be a nightmare, Bob Norwood, chairman of the coalition and the Rock Hill school board.

"Kids are looking for ways to get high. It's nothing new," Norwood said. "We would like for this to be a wake-up call for our community. We need to leave here willing to do whatever it takes to protect our youth."

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