Mayor Rick Meehan signed an emergency ordinance Tuesday banning the sale, possession and manufacturing of K2 and other substances that contain marijuana imitations or hallucinogenic agents, and any associated paraphernalia. The town council had approved the measures.
Councilman Joe Hall dissented, saying he preferred to wait for state action. But Meehan says that could take months and Ocean City shouldn't wait.
Worcester State's Attorney Beau Oglesby says he's optimistic the ordinance will have an immediate impact on what he considers to be a "very real problem" in Ocean City. He believes that county officials will consider a county-wide ban.
Over in Virginia, a state-wide ban was passed this March. Law enforcement has reported an increase in the use of synthetic marijuana across the country. Users of the substance K2 have been hospitalized with excessive agitation and seizures. A teenager in Leesburg died after overdosing on synthetic marijuana last fall.
The Ocean City council encouraged police to begin searching boardwalk stores for the substance immediately.