Tahlequah Daily Press

April 2, 2013

City adopts resolution on ‘spice’

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah city officials on Monday adopted a resolution urging Oklahoma legislators to ban the sale and possession of synthetic cannabinoids.

The resolution, which passed unanimously, also provides a formal response to the growing availability of the products at local businesses, and says the mayor and city council “oppose the availability and use of products containing synthetic cannabinoids within the city of Tahlequah.”

“[We] strongly urge the Oklahoma state Legislature to adopt legislation banning the sale and possession of these dangerous substances as soon as possible,” the resolution declares.

Mayor Jason Nichols is set to forward the resolution to elected officials who represent Tahlequah citizens, and will also send a copy to Gov. Mary Fallin and Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Nichols said the resolution is meant to “signal our distaste for these products.”

“I’m glad we’re able to take some kind of action,” said Nichols.

City Attorney Park Medearis previously warned the council that municipalities do not have the authority to make a substance illegal if the state has not already determined it to be so.

Councilors then decided to adopt a resolution that will urge state officials to take action.

Medearis said Monday night that he supports the resolution.

“This will be an excellent message,” said Medearis. “I don’t know why and how the state has not been able to deal with this.”

In other matters, councilors heard a report from Tahlequah Main Street Association Director Drew Haley, who said a representative of a Texas-based development service has been in Tahlequah and will soon be submitting a report about Norris Park.

Haley said the service is paid for through the state, and the development company will submit a proposal on how to connect Norris Park to the city’s “greenway” project that stretches along Town Branch Creek. Haley said one challenge is the need for pedestrians to cross Downing Street, but suggestions will be included in the proposal.

Suggestions will also be included for improvements that could be made to Norris Park, Haley said. The report is expected to be submitted in about a month.