FPD: “Spice” now concealed in flavored cigars

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According to the Fairhope Police Department, “Spice,” a common term used for synthetic marijuana, is becoming an increasing problem for law enforcement and now drug users are finding new methods of concealing the drug.

When “spice” first came to the attention of police agencies, it was being marketed and sold as incense or potpourri and the packaging was labeled “not for human consumption.”  Officers began encountering an increasing number of persons suffering from altered mental states and varying degrees of psychosis as a result of “spice” abuse.  Laws were passed to ban the use or possession of “spice” and police officers quickly learned to recognize the packaging and symptoms of abuse.

In an effort to conceal “spice” possession to avoid arrest, users are now hiding the drug seemingly in plain view.  In a recent “spice” arrest, the user had concealed the drug inside a flavored cigar.  Users are legally purchasing fruit or candy scented and flavored cigars from retail outlets. Once purchased, the user opens the cigar and discards the tobacco, replacing it with “spice.”  The adulterated cigar is then openly carried and used because it appears outwardly to be a legitimate tobacco product.

Some flavored cigars are sold in re-sealable packages allowing drug abusers to carry original packaging for the cigar to conceal the altered product.  The fruit or candy scent added to the cigars by manufacturers hides the scent of the “spice.”

The Fairhope Police Department wishes to stress that there is no indication that the adulterated cigars are being sold from retailers.  The alteration occurs after the cigars are bought.

The public is cautioned that using “Spice” can lead to serious, long-term illnesses including debilitating psychosis.

Due to “spice’s” popularity among teens, parents are cautioned that flavored cigars and cigarettes may contain after-market ingredients that can be harmful to a person’s health.

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