NORFOLK – Several businesses in four Hampton Roads cities are immmediately off limits to all military personnel because they sell "Spice," based on a recommendation from the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board of Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina.
The board says Spice and other designer drugs pose a danger to service personnel.
Spice a leafy green mixture of herbal and synthetic cannabinoids that, when smoked, mimics the effects of marijuana. It's sold under several names, including Spice Gold and K2.
The announcement Thursday was made by Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, but it is effective for all branches of the military.
The businesses were notified of the decision earlier this week, said Michael Mink with COMNAVREG Mid-Atlantic.
"A business is removed once they can demonstrate to the AFDCB that corrective measures are in place to ensure safety and welfare for all U.S. military personnel," he told WVEC.com.
The services recently added guidelines to existing drug policy to include products that contain cannabinoid synthetic compounds, such as spice, blaze and spark.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Frank Hutchison, Judge Advocate General, talked about the increase use of designer drugs earlier this year.
"Sailors need to know that this is not an alternative to drug use – it is drug use," he stated.
In a recent interview with Navy News, Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Jason Simmons, Navy Region Southwest regional drug and alcohol program advisor, said "A lot of these Sailors who choose to use drugs are very young, and it's the first time away from their families. They're not quite sure how to handle the stress of their jobs."
He added, "A person who is using drugs won't be able to perform a job 100 percent, and people can get hurt that way. That is kind of scary to think about when you're out at sea."
At Joint Base Langley-Eustis, offiicals say they've run information about Spice in the installation newspaper and on its Command Channel.
"Our Security Forces Squadrons have taken an active approach in speaking with units and commanders about the danger of Spice and the ban on the product," said spokeswoman Monica Miller-Rodgers. "The Army Substance Abuse Program and the Air Force Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program are always available to Soldiers and Airmen who may be struggling with any substance abuse issues."
OFF LIMITS BUSINESSES:
Hampton Pipe and Tobacco, 86 W. Mercury Blvd.
Somewhere in Time, 92 W. Mercury Blvd.
Lazy Days, 731 J. Clyde Morris Boulevard, Suite B
Fantasy Inc., 10117 Jefferson Ave.
Hampton Pipe and Tobacco, 15435-B Warwick Blvd.
Outer Edge Gifts, 760-B J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Tobacco Plus 2, 3611 Tidewater Dr.
Skinnie's Records, 431 West 22nd St.
Papa Joes Smoke Shop, 800 S. Lynnhaven Road
Mellow Smoke Tobacco Shop, 1948 Diamond Springs Rd.