Oregon takes action: 'It probably needs to be banned quickly'

Oregon takes action: 'It probably needs to be banned quickly' »Play Video
Image courtesy Schorle

SALEM, Ore. - Relief at last for this Lane County man.

Three months ago, KVAL News sat down with him. He didn't want to be identified - but his job and story made him credible on the subject of the drug Spice.

He talked about his son's battle with the drug Spice. Until Friday, Oct. 15, 2010, Spice was perfectly legal to sell over the counter.

The synthetic cannabis didn't show up on drug tests and, according to this man, was destroying his family. His son was hooked - and had become a hazard.

"There isn't going to be anything we can do other than clean up the mess and deal with the aftermath," said the man.

Spice is 15 times more powerful than pot and can trigger violent outbursts.

The man said Spice made his son "physically just out of control." The man told us he wanted to the drug banned.

And that's exactly what the State Board of Pharmacy did this week.

They added the chemicals used in Spice to the list of "controlled substances."

Effective immediately, it is illegal to possess or sell it.

The pharmacy board's executive director Gary Schnabel said Spice is a threat to public safety.

"We were being told that it probably needs to be banned quickly because we were seeing a lot of it in the state," Schnabel said. "That's what we heard from law enforcement."
KVAL News bought a pack of spice for this story back in July. We went back to that same store on Friday. They had already pulled it off the shelves. We also checked at other shops.

The owner of one smoke shop said he hadn't even heard about the ban until we told him.

Neither store owner would go on camera.

The pharmacy board said the state's police will do outreach notifying stores of the changes. 

This ban is only temporary, valid for 180 days.

The board now has six months to file the paperwork for a permanent ban. Schnabel said he is confident the rule become permanent.

Spice has already been banned in at least 20 other states and many European countries.