Hattiesburg police warn businesses about spice

By Karrie Leggett - email

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)-  Consider this your warning, by a 4-1 vote the Hattiesburg City Council adopted an ordinance at a special called meeting prohibiting the use, purchase, possession, distribution, sale or offering for sale the substance known as spice.

Spice is an incense laced with synthetic THC - the active ingredient in marijuana. It is not illegal to sell or possess it, but several cities have adopted bans in recent months.

Sgt. Allen Murray said Hattiesburg Police are going door-to-door to give the official warning for establishments to stop selling the incense by September 7.

One vendor in Hattiesburg, says she welcomes the ban.

"I'm glad to see officers coming with it. I've been waiting, I am ready. I didn't want it in here to start with, but I didn't have a choice," said the vendor.

Paula Odom, who manages Fine Wine and Liquor Loft, says she agrees with the ordinance.

"I totally agree, because I have teenage daughters, and I don't want them thinking that this is ok just because it is not considered to be real marijuana. So, yea, I totally agree with it. It shouldn't be here," said Odom.

Murray says during the next 27 days there will be no penalty for buying or selling the substance, but afterwards the consequences will be a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.

"This in itself is just a misdemeanor offense if you are found guilty of violating the ordinance or any form of the ordinance," said Murray.

Officers of the Hattiesburg Police Department will continue to conduct random checks throughout the city.

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