Mayor Strengthens Laws Regarding Spice

New ordinance and resolution will offer more tools to law enforcement

10/20/2015
Mayor's Corner

ANCHORAGE – Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is proposing a new ordinance to substantially strengthen the Municipality’s ability to investigate, arrest, and prosecute individuals involved in distributing or using synthetic cannabis, also known as “spice.” The proposal is scheduled for the Assembly agenda on October 27th.

“Expanding the range of penalties for distributing spice gives us greater ability to interdict the drug, reduce its use, and enhance public safety. Our strategy must also include better coordination with other local governments, as well as state and federal agencies,” stated Mayor Berkowitz.

Currently, enforcement capabilities for possession of spice amounts to a $500 citation. The Anchorage Police Department has issued 30 spice citations since August. The new ordinance and accompanying resolution will increase penalties for spice distribution to up to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine (Class A misdemeanor). Maximum penalties for spice usage will increase to 6 months in jail and a $2,000 fine (Class B misdemeanor).

Between July 18 and October 4, the Anchorage Fire Department transported 468 patients for treatment who were suspected of consuming spice. This number represents 11% of AFD’s total transports and an average of nearly 6 individuals every 24 hours.

For more information, contact Myer Hutchinson at (907) 343-7133.

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