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Morro Bay moves to ban bath salts, spice

A package of K2, or spice, which contains herbs and spices sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
A package of K2, or spice, which contains herbs and spices sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. AP Photo

The Morro Bay City Council has directed its staff to draft an ordinance that bans the possession and sale of bath salts and synthetic “spice” products.

The council voted 4-0 on Tuesday with Mayor Jamie Irons absent to move forward with creating the new ordinance.

Bath salts is the term used for substances with man-made chemicals related to amphetamines. Spice or K2 refers to a plant material that has been laced with synthetic cannabinoids that mimic THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

The substances, which are legal under federal and state law, are commonly sold in retail stores and labeled “not for human consumption” to avoid FDA oversight, city officials said.

The city cited as a reason for a ban an Oct. 25 crash on Highway 1 near Cayucos that killed two passengers and injured two others, all with family ties to Morro Bay and Los Osos. Police say the driver, who has been charged with four felonies, was under the influence of spice at the time.

The city also cited overdoses in people who consume spice.

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