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Fight against local sale of synthetic drugs continues

Local residents continue to express concern over the sale of synthetic drugs in Johnson County. In recent weeks, protests had been held outside of Cloud 9 Emporium on Route 421. Mountain City government officials have decided to take immediate steps against the sale of these products
The Town of Mountain City will hold a second and final reading of Ordinance number 1283 that will establish a moratorium on the sale and distribution of synthetic drugs or substances on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm. This meeting is open to the public. If passed by a majority vote of the mayor and city aldermen, the ordinance will be effective immediately. It will prohibit the sale, trade, barter and exchange of any chemical compound or synthetic drug not governed by the State of Tennessee in the city limits. Anyone found in violation would be subject to a fine of $50 and court costs.
At the recent March’s City Council meeting, Mountain City Mayor, Lawrence Keeble, suggested implementing a moratorium similar to one passed by the Town of Jonesborough, Tennessee. The ordinance, prepared by City Attorney Steve McEwen, was voted on and passed at the first reading. According to Keeble, he plans on personally asking landlords to refuse to lease to businesses that sell synthetic drugs, as well as asking city staff to refuse to issue them business licenses. “We’ll take on that challenge,” he said.
At this time, Tennessee legislature is pending that will address the chemical make up in these products that currently allow manufacturers to make compound substitutions, thereby skirting the law to legally produce synthetic drugs. According to State Representative, Scotty Campbell, legislation has recently advanced out of the Full House Health and Human Resources Committee this past week. One of the proposals will be discussed in the House Judiciary committee and a second bill is scheduled for consideration in the House Judiciary Subcommittee this week. “We are working as fast as we possibly can to advance these proposals and get a bill or bills passed into law that will give law enforcement the tools they need to seize the synthetic drugs and punish the buyers and seller,” Campbell said.
Pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk for the complete story.