City leaders voted to ban synthetic marijuana in Rockford Monday night.
This comes after the Winnebago County Health Department reported nine severe bleeding cases all linked to the drug.
"People smoke this material and the poison that is in there is causing effects on their body in the sense of not allowing their blood to coagulate," Todd Kisner, the director of the center for health protection with the Winnebago County Health Department says.
That’s why the City of Rockford says it wants to step in. Leaders voted Monday night to ban synthetic marijuana. That would make it illegal to have the drug and sell it in Rockford.
"It’s the stores that we’re concerned about," Nicholas Meyer, the city’s legal director says. "Where kids are going into stores and buying these things legally and we have no mechanism to combat that locally, so now we do."
But the Winnebago County Health Department says all nine people in those severe bleeding cases got those drugs from off the street, not a store. But,city attorneys say this is an important step in addressing the problem.
The county health department says it’s also trying to educate people about the dangers of the drug.
"We work with them to domify who may have partake in the smoking of it and stuff and trying to get the word out to friends and the community and stuff that this stuff is not good, Kisner says.
City leaders say that the ordinance will go into effect in ten days.
They add that anyone who is caught with the substance could face a fine up to $750 per day.