Pubdate: Tue, 09 Apr 2013
Source: Progress-Index, The (VA)
Copyright: The Progress-Index 2013
Page: A4


The military has lent its weight to the community effort to battle 
the use of synthetic drugs commonly known as "spice." Fort Lee 
officials last month declared two local business off limits to 
military personnel because the establishments sell synthetic drugs.

The two businesses that are off limits to the military are the 
Cigarette City at 333 Cavalier Square in Hopewell and the Shell Gas 
Station at 3320 Boulevard in Colonial Heights.

"It's a serious issue because much of the revenue generated by local 
establishments comes from those who live and work on Fort Lee," said 
Maj. David Martin, provost marshal. "The potential economic impact on 
a business that does not play by the rules is significant."

Military personnel are prohibited from using psychotropic substances.

Local communities and the Virginia General Assembly have struggled in 
recent years to effectively ban "spice" - a potpourri of items sold 
legally that is used as an alternative to marijuana.

Synthetic marijuana, or spice, was made illegal in Virginia in 2011. 
It is also illegal in 15 other states.

However, the product has not been effectively outlawed because 
manufacturers continue to change the chemical compound. Gov. Bob 
McDonnell signed another bill into law last month that adds several 
new compounds to the list defined as synthetic cannabinoids and 
synthetic stimulants.

"Although first criminalized by the 2011 General Assembly, 
manufacturers and sellers continue to develop and market chemical 
variations outside the list of prohibited substances," Gov. Bob 
McDonnell said in a statement last month. "This has challenged state 
lawmakers to stay current with the continually emerging chemical 
variations of these substances that appear in the marketplace."

Officials - both in the military and state government - continue to 
work to keep synthetic drugs out of the community and that's a 
positive development.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom