Janesville51.6°

Synthetic pot seized from Janesville business

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GINA R. HEINE
March 10, 2011
— Janesville police seized nearly $12,000 worth of synthetic marijuana that was being sold illegally Wednesday at Smokers World, 2622 E. Milwaukee St.

Police seized 780 containers, which were being sold for $15 each, during an inspection to determine compliance with a new city ordinance that prohibits anyone from possessing or selling synthetic marijuana, Sgt. Jim Holford said.


No arrests were made, but the case was referred to the city attorney's office rather than issuing citations for each canister, which would result in more than $200,000 in fines, Holford said.


"We elected not to do that and forwarded it to the city attorney's office," he said.


Two other businesses passed inspection—The Mark on West Milwaukee Street had stopped selling the product and Roman's 66 on Center Avenue was "out of stock," Holford said.


The inspections came after multiple warnings from police.


Months ago, police had notified businesses who were selling the product that the city council was considering banning the product, Holford said. When the council approved the ordinance in early January, police gave each business a copy of the ordinance and told store owners to get rid of the product.


Since the ban went into effect, police have received multiple complaints from citizens about businesses still selling the products, Holdford said.


Police started inspections at Smokers World because of its close proximity to Marshall Middle School and because police had received the most complaints for that business, he said.


When an officer arrived, the product was being sold in plain view and a transaction of the product was underway, he said. An officer stopped the sale and used a field test that determined the banned substance was present.


"(We) tested it in front of the ownership. They disputed our findings and still felt their product was legal," Holford said.


Police will continue inspections to ensure businesses are complying with the ordinance.



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