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Dearborn Man's Battle Against Synthetic Drug 'Spice' Shows Results

After two protests, Steve Arnold has succeeded in convincing two Dearborn gas stations to stop selling K2–and plans to take his mission statewide.

In early May, Dearborn resident Steve Arnold announced that he was , otherwise known as Spice.

Two successful protests later, Arnold says he is taking his efforts statewide.

Spice is a form of synthetic marijuana that is commonly sold as incense, or potpourri. It was originally sold under the name K2, but legislation banned K2 in Michigan in October of 2010. Since the ban, manufacturers are finding ways around the legislation by manufacturing variations of the banned substance, eliminating the chemicals that caused the original K2 to be banned.

Known to be widely used by young adults across the country, Spice is cited as the drug of choice for 19-year-old Tucker Cipriano, who , Dearborn Public Schools employee Robert Cipriano.

Arnold had his own brush with the drug when he had to hospitalize his 16-year-old daughter after she smoked a form of Spice known as "Scoobi Snax"–sold to her at a BP gas station at Telegraph Road and Cherry Hill in Dearborn.

Since then, he has organized two protests: the first was on May 19 at the Future Fuels on Michigan Avenue; the second, held May 28, was at the BP that sold Spice to Arnold's daughter.

Both gas station owners, he said, agreed to stop selling the product, and to publicly apologize for selling it at the Tuesday, May 29, City Council meeting.

"Our folks were disciplined and maintained composure, but basically no customers went in there for two hours," Arnold said of both protests. "We had our battle, it's over, and I bought gas from them."

Future Fuels owner and prominent Dearborn businessman Hakim Fakhoury signed a letter pledging to stop selling Spice, while the BP owner gave a verbal agreement to do the same.

"Twelve people brought them to their knees," said Arnold.

Arnold said he hopes these two events will send a message to other Dearborn gas station owners.

However, the movement isn't stopping there. Next up are plans to stage a statewide boycott of all BP gas stations–based on Arnold's observation that nearly every business in the chain he has come into contact with sells Spice.

To learn more about efforts to drive Spice out of Dearborn, visit the “Not in Our Neighborhood” Facebook page.

Beth Huxley May 29, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Another young 18 yr old boy. Friend of our family died this weekend after ingesting K2./spice . Why Is this deadly crap NOT banned from this damn state of MI? Everyone write to your congress prople & go to individual gas stations to get them to STOP selling this deadly crap!! I plan to start petitions ! Beth H,
Carolyn Lynett May 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Steve- So sorry about your daughter. I joined your group and want to help in your efforts to eliminate this horrible drug. I had NO idea it was being sold only 2 blocks from my house!! And to think that many middle-schoolers walk by there every day to and from Bryant. We are raising our 12 year old niece which makes me more motivated to get rid of K2. Thank you for your efforts!!!
Nancy Larson June 26, 2012 at 05:28 PM
My son purchased spice over the internet we were in for a wild crazy few days as he went totally crazy and attacked his father after having just three puffs that he had put into a cigarette. He was wide eyed and psychotic for three days at one point his father had to take him down and lay on him for almost an hour until he went to sleep, Prior to attacking his father he had been talking of killing and violence for four solid hours. If we had called 911 he would have been taken to jail. Who wants that? How can we help to make this illegal everywhere? And they are worried about marijuanna????

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