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City council bans ‘spice’ in Logan

September 23rd, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Megan Wiseman

LOGAN — The City Council unanimously passed an ordinance prohibiting the possession and use of the substance “spice” Tuesday night .

Councilman Herm Olsen made sure to include that the issue of spice would have to be revisited in the future and that the decision was not an end-all.

“This is a slippery problem and I don’t know a solution,” said Olsen. “I will support this decision but we have a long way to go still.”

Olsen’s comments were reiterated by Chief Gary Jensen of Logan City Police, who said that this was “an excellent step for the community.”

County Attorney James Swink said the issue of spice is to be considered by the State Legislature and the county board of health in the upcoming months but he wasn’t sure exactly what issues were going to be addressed.

Swink also clarified some discrepancies on hospital reports of spice overdoses, saying that Logan Regional Hospital tracks specific drug overdoses while other hospitals only keep records of overdoses in general. Swink said Logan may be seeing more spice use than other cities because of the proximity to a college campus and due to the record-keeping differences.

The council also discussed the success of the Citizen’s Academy, a new program that educates citizens on how the city is run. The council decided that the academy is a good thing and should be continued. Tami Pyfer, project coordinator, said she hopes the academy will be used in relation to citizens wanting to run for city offices.

Mayor Randy Watts gave an update on the concerns with hanging banners over Main Street. Although no banners have fallen onto traffic, workers have dropped tools and the support cables holding the banners have become a concern. Other alternatives being pursued include an electronic sign or standing signs in the right-of-way.

City Attorney Kymber Housley advised the council that if they restricted sign usage to non-profit organizations there could be an issue with free-speech lawsuits. Housley said that signs would either have to be completely open to any advertising or strictly restricted to government-backed notifications. The council agreed that other alternatives needed to be explored before a decision could be made.


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