COLUMN: Fake pot could create real problems

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By Shannon Brock

Who knew something considered fake could pose such a real threat in Spencer and surrounding counties?
Admittedly, I know very little about synthetic cannabinoids/synthetic marijuana/fake pot/whatever you want to call it.
Many of you know my professional background — I spent three years, 2008-2011, as news editor at The Anderson News in neighboring Anderson County. Because of my history there and because of my current residence there, I made it a point to follow the “fake pot” saga when the fiscal court there passed its ordinance last month.
Knowledge is power, after all, and I figured it was only a matter of time until the issue showed up here.
I am thankful that the form in which it showed up was as an item on the Fiscal Court agenda instead of the form of a tragic story of misuse, but nonetheless, when I saw the topic on the agenda for last week’s Fiscal Court meeting, I put a big circle around it. If I were a dog, my ears would have perked up at attention as I leaned in to pay special attention when it was brought up.
You see, I’ve heard horror stories about this stuff — mothers who walk in a child’s bedroom to find him or her convulsing violently on the floor, tales from emergency personnel who have seen these over-the-counter products take lives — and I’ve heard enough to know if it can be stopped, it should be.
So, kudos to our Fiscal Court and to the judge-executives across the state who attended the winter conference and are taking action before it’s too late.
Too many times we see government be reactive instead of proactive. I’m sure these regulations originated from a reaction somewhere, but I’m glad our leaders aren’t afraid to take action in an effort to cut off a problem before it starts.