Northbridge Bans Sale Of Synthetic Marijuana

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The Northbridge Board of Health unanimously agreed to regulations banning the sale of drug paraphernalia and synthetic marijuana.
The Northbridge Board of Health unanimously agreed to regulations banning the sale of drug paraphernalia and synthetic marijuana. Photo Credit: File

NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Northbridge businesses are put on notice – the sale of drug paraphernalia and synthetic marijuana will be banned beginning Jan. 1.

The Board of Health unanimously adopted the regulations after a public hearing held Tuesday and attended by Police Chief Walter Warchol and Detective Sgt. John Ouillette.

Warchol said he suggested the ban after hearing from other communities that Northbridge had become the “go-to’’ town to purchase synthetic marijuana, often called “bath salts,” which are made of various chemicals.

“We don’t want that reputation,’’ he said.

Vera’s Variety Store at Providence Road and Church Street was mentioned specifically by the Board of Health, with the product displayed on its counter. “We’ve had a lot of complaints,’’ Warchol said.

The synthetic product, though not illegal to possess, is a serious health threat to the kids who smoke it, Ouillette said.

Board of Health Chairman Paul McKeon expressed frustration that no parents attended the hearing.

The banned products, which include blunt wrappers, rosebud glass tubes and other nontraditional tobacco smoking apparatus, will be confiscated and violators fined $300 for the first offense. Violators won't be arrested.

Additional offenses, after public hearings, could lead to revocation of permits issued by the Board of Health.

In addition to banning the sale of “any cannabimimetic agent,’’ the regulation bans inhaling or ingesting any product that “induce the symptoms of intoxication, elation, euphoria, dizziness, excitement, irrational behavior, exhilaration, paralysis, stupefaction or dulling of the senses or nervous system.”

The regulations, Warchol said, “are in the best interest of the town of Northbridge.’’

The Police Department will be the primary enforcement agent.

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Comments (9)

I say the Board of Health has greatly exceeded it's authority. I see there is a Board of Selectmen meeting this Monday. Perhaps they will be able to answer for the illegal actions of their board.

Maha - ZigZags are a legal product used to smoke tobacco. Several of my friends use them for that very reason, with the price of cigarette taxes being so high. Why shouldn't they be allowed?

I was so happy to read that this ban is and will be going into effect I am really surprised that it has taken this long to get all of it removed from the shelves.I actually read through the fact sheets on these quasi non narcotics and most of the ingredients I can not even pronounce let alone read so why would anyone ever want to harm themselves with these deadly products is beyond me.

Glad to see the ZigZag papers and the glass pipes from every variety store in town taken off the shelfs

In addition to banning the sale of “any cannabimimetic agent,’’ the regulation bans inhaling or ingesting any product that “induce the symptoms of intoxication, elation, euphoria, dizziness, excitement, irrational behavior, exhilaration, paralysis, stupefaction or dulling of the senses or nervous system.”

If the article is correct we can't even drink alcohol any more. Is this correct? Does the bill really say this? That can't be right, can it?

Please don't remove my post again. It asks a very fair question.

I thought the same thing. Hopefully it's more clear in the regulation. This could be opened up to almost anything from alcohol to advil and cold medication.

Good, the synthetic stuff is chemically harming kids, whereas real organic marijuana has never hurt anyone. The synthetic stuff which is not cannabis at all, just gives actual marijuana a bad name, and rise to the ridiculous “refer madness” mentality that labels marijuana as some sort of “gateway” drug.

Sandiegogal...no places have been set up for medical marijuana, I am sure they will carry any pipes, papers or other things needed to ingest/smoke a prescription. I believe the main purpose of this ban is to get K2 and bath salts off the shelves. Please go on the web and research these awful drugs. Even the police (in my opinion) realize how much more dangerous these "fake" drugs are as compared to marijuana. Over 16 states at this point have banned this stuff....I believe MANY mote will follow. Enforcement is going to be the key here!!

Does that also include a ban of the sale of medical marijuana?