Stores Pull Designer Drugs Off Shelves

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As of Monday, Payson’s “spice” cupboards are officially bare.

Payson Police officers checked local business and found all varieties of synthetic marijuana drugs are gone.

Retailers were forced to pull the products after the town council passed an emergency ordinance banning their sale last month.

The council’s action came after increased public outcry for the removal of the drugs, which have been linked to cases in which several people needed medical attention.

Several groups took to area street corners to protest the sale of spice and potpourri, receiving honks and waves of approval from hundreds of passersby, protesters said. Some motorists even stopped and joined the demonstration.

On Monday, their efforts appeared to pay off with the products gone.

“We went around and had 100 percent compliance,” said Payson Police Chief Don Engler.

Three local retailers selling spice — Wear This, Payson Marketplace and One Stop — disposed of the product before officers arrived, he said.

“They all seemed very compliant,” he said.

Although sale of the products is banned locally, spice is still sold in many communities throughout the state and Payson’s ordinance does not ban someone from possessing the products. Still, Engler believes officers will see a noticeable drop in use of the products in the coming months.

“I am sure there is still product in the community that was bought here or brought in,” he said. “In one month we will see what the impact (of the ordinance) is.”

The police department plans to check businesses periodically to make sure the products do not come back. They also plan to send officers in undercover to see if it is being sold secretly.

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