Common council votes to prohibit dealing synthetic weed

NOW: Common council votes to prohibit dealing synthetic weed

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- On Monday, the South Bend Common Council voted unanimously to revise an ordinance aimed at cracking down on the dealing of synthetic marijuana. 

In 2017, the council created the ordinance, but said there are still unlisted chemicals used in creating the drugs that make them legal in some spaces. The council voted 9-0 on July 23 to amend the ordinance so that it’s in line with the state’s legislation that includes the changing chemicals. 

“It’s not good for the neighborhood,” said Hester Nelson, who lives in South Bend. 

Nelson lives close to Laymen’s Chapel, where South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, SBPD Chief Scott Ruszkowksi, and other city officials were first introduced to synthetic marijuana. They helped three young people overdosing on synthetic weed in front of the church. 

“It was a bad scene,” Hester said. “To see this happen to young people, it shouldn’t be happening.”

Will Smith, with Not In Our Community, said the drug affects people of all ages and across all races. He said the amendment to the ordinance sends a message to dealers.

“We are coming after you, anyway possible,” Smith said. 

He said dealers caught selling the drugs will be fined $250 to $2,500. Smith said moving forward Not In Our Community will be looking for ways to make dealing synthetic pot a criminal matter. 



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