SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah lawmaker working on a statewide ban of spice is now revealing more details about his bill. The proposed legislation would restrict the sale and possession of spice.
"Law enforcement would have a way to test for [spice]," explains Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville. "As people were found to be under the influence of spice while they're driving, it would have the same ramifications as alcohol and other drugs."
The bill is still in its preliminary phase. Froerer says he'll unveil the full details of it in the next month.
"This is not an Ogden problem or a Utah County problem," Froerer says. "This is a statewide problem. Therefore, it's best controlled at the state level."
This is not an Ogden problem or a Utah County problem. This is a statewide problem. Therefore, it's best controlled at the state level.
–Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville
Froerer also says shops selling spice are seizing upon the demand for the substance, and he's concerned for kids.
"It's not being sold at those stores for use as incense," says Froerer. "It's being sold as a drug. That's why people are paying $40 and $60 a gram for that product."
Froerer is concerned at how kids are abusing spice and how it is readily available to youth. He wants to get a jump on it now before things get worse.
"We know that some kids do not get an instantaneous high or a marijuana high off of this," explains Froerer. "So they'll take additional dosages and then all of a sudden they're in the hospital."
Meanwhile, experts are not placing spice in the same category as illicit drugs such as heroin or methamphetamine. Froerer says to give it time.
"Medical research would indicate that we don't know what the long-term effects or impact of this synthetic drug would be," he says.