The Neosho City Council gave their first nod of approval Tuesday to two proposed ordinances banning the sale of synthetic stimulants and synthetic cannabinoids in Neosho city limits.

The Neosho City Council gave their first nod of approval Tuesday to two proposed ordinances banning the sale of synthetic stimulants and synthetic cannabinoids in Neosho city limits.

The council will take a final vote on the measures in their May 7 council meeting.

The council voted unanimously to approve on first reading the ordinances created by city attorney Steve Hays.
"This is the result of the city's year long effort to work on an ordinance to deal with the issue of bath salts and synthetic cannabinoids," said Neosho Mayor Richard Davidson.

Proposed ordinance 215.680, which includes bath salts, states that it would prohibit, "the sale, offer for sale, purchase with intent to sell or public display for sale, of synthetic stimulant bath salts, synthetic cathinones, synthetic amphetamines and other synthetic stimulants that mimic illegal drugs."

Meanwhile, proposed ordinance 215.690, which includes synthetic marijuana, prohibits the sale, purchase with intent to sell, or public display for sale of synthetic cannabinoid herbal incense.

Council members first discussed the proposed ordinances in an April 2 council meeting, though they did not take any action on the proposals at that time.

In that meeting, Hays said he hoped to share the ordinances with surrounding communities.

"I certainly would not have a problem sharing the ordinance with the communities surrounding us," Hays said. "A person could drive eight or 10 miles and get the same substance and then bring it right back to Neosho. That really doesn't assist too much with the enforcement in Neosho."

Troy Royer, Neosho city manager, said the city plans to reach out to surrounding communities once the ordinances receive final approval.

Both he and Hays said they had not been contacted by any area towns regarding the ordinances since the council's initial discussion April 2.

While the council has spoken out against the sale of the synthetic products in the past, this is the city's first official move toward putting a law on the books to outlaw the items.

In June 2012, the council voted to approve a resolution opposing the sale of "synthetic cannabis products" in city limits, however, the city currently does not have an ordinance in place to prosecute the sale of those products.

Synthetic stimulants are packaged and legally sold as products such as bath salts, though Hays said they have similar effects to narcotics such as cocaine and heroin. Meanwhile, synthetic cannabinoids, sold as herbal incense, are used as a legal alternative to marijuana.

The state of Missouri has banned the sale of some synthetic marijuana products in the past, including K-2, though makers responded by changing the chemical compounds to get around the state law.

"I believe we are, if not pioneering, we're certainly showing an example of leading to those in the state," Davidson said. "We will not tolerate and do not want synthetics and bath salts in our town. We will do whatever is necessary to protect our children and our youth and population in general."

In other business, council members voted unanimously for Davidson to continue serving as Neosho's mayor, and also voted to maintain Steve Hart as the mayor pro tem. The two were the only nominees for those positions.

Davidson has served as the city's mayor since 2010, while Hart was named mayor pro tem in April 2012.
The council also adjourned sine die, when Neosho City Clerk Nora Houdyshell administered the oath of office to recently re-elected councilmen Tom Workman and Hart.

The two ran unopposed in the April 2 election.

This is Workman's second three-year term, after first being elected to the position in April 2010.
Meanwhile this is Hart's first full three-year term, after first being appointed to the council in April 2011, to serve out one year of an unexpired term. He was then elected to a one-year term in April 2012, also serving one year left over from an unexpired term.

• • •

For more on Tuesday's council meeting, see Thursday's edition of the Neosho Daily News. ­