300+ bags of Spice seized at Harmon shop - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

300+ bags of Spice seized at Harmon shop

by Nick Delgado

Guam - Local authorities are enforcing a law that was enacted last year banning the sale of a substance that has been labeled "designer cannibinoids" that are sold at various specialty shops around the island. Officials were tipped-off by an anonymous caller that led them to making a huge bust of Spice.

A significant amount of traffic at the Playboy Gift Shop in Harmon reported by a caller who remains anonymous led special investigation section agents to the store.  It turns out customers weren't going in to buy the adult specialty items, but small packages of Spice.  Guam Police Department Spokesperson Officer A.J. Balajadia confirms authorities seized more than 300 individual packages containing suspected synthetic compounds known as Spice on May 11. 

He confirms police conducted surveillance and saw the frequency of visitors during daytime hours heightened their suspicions that something illegal may be going on.  Spice is a marijuana-like substance that is often smoked.  It is a psychoactive herbal and chemical product that is consumed with similar effects of marijuana. Its popularity has grown as it is significantly cheaper than marijuana.

While it's been sold around the island for several years, last year Public Law 30-174 was enacted prohibiting the possession of three specific chemical compounds, commonly found in Spice - Salvia Divinorum, HU-2010, JWH-018, and JWH-073.  Spice is generally a mixture of herbs and spices that are typically sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC.  The problem is many of the packets of Spice that are being sold, don't clearly state what the packages contain.

It's popularity has raised significant concerns with the Drug Enforcement Administration that reports use of the not-so regulated drug has resulted in thousands of calls to the American Association of Poison Control Centers across the nation.

GPD confirms the packages that were seized from the Harmon Playboy Shop were being sold for $30-60 apiece, marketed with names like Black Mamba, Wicked XXX, K2, Cloud 10 Storm, and Funky Monkey, just to name a few.  While no arrests have been made in connection with the mass seizure as management is cooperating with the ongoing investigation, KUAM News spoke with the shop owners. They declined an on-camera interview, but admit that customers are extremely upset that the Spice was seized.

"We didn't sell anything illegal, we didn't do the Salvia, we didn't do the K-2 illegal one, we do all the new one's that just come out," one said. "The one that we order from the states is all 100% legal." "We still [sic] under investigation, we say 'Why only our shop but not the rest shops that still sell, but why only our shop?'"

KUAM News also confirmed that other shops in Harmon like Playhouse and Big Screen Movie also sell the product, ranging from prices between $5 and $35 each. In late 2010, police confirm agents also seized an undetermined amount of Spice at a gift shop at the Micronesia Mall. Balajadia says sis agents continue to monitor and conduct surprise inspections of various shops to ensure full compliance with local law.

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