MERIDIAN -- Meridian may become the first city in Idaho to ban Spice, an incense some smoke to get high.
If approved anyone caught selling or using Spice within city limits will be arrested.
The Meridian city council may vote on the ordinance next Tuesday. That is the same week Governor Otter plans to sign a statewide Spice ban.
Meridian leaders say their ban is needed in case the state's can't hold up in court.
Meridian city attorneys are concerned that if their officers were to cite anyone under the state's anticipated Spice ban, it could be challenged in court and the case may be dismissed.
The reason: the state ban would be based on a recommendation of the state pharmacy board.
And a person could claim, or at least a court could consider that it's not actually in the Idaho code, said Bill Nary, Meridian attorney.
We want to make sure that if we have an ordinance there is no question that it is illegal here.
And there's no question about the city's penalties.
Anyone caught selling, using, sharing, or in possession of Spice will be arrested.
It's an automatic misdemeanor with a fine up to $300 dollars and up to 6 months behind bars.
It's definitely a problem, and it's a problem that we want to get in front of, said Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea.
Meridian officers have seen the abuse of spice among youth.
The incense is sold in stores and labeled not for consumption , but Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea says there's no doubt kids buy it and smoke it to get high.
He says his officers are also prepared to arrest store employees who continue to sell spice once the ban goes into effect.
We want parents to know what's actually going on out there, and they need to realize why their kids are using this. The fact that they re not buying it for incense, the fact that these businesses are trying to use the defense that it's incense is absolutely untruthful, said Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea.
If Meridian's ban is approved next Tuesday, it will likely go into effect Friday, the same day the Governor plans to sign the statewide ban.
Law enforcement will work with businesses until then to make sure they understand the city ordinance.
But once that day comes, officers say everyone should consider themselves warned, because they can start making arrests.
Basterrechea says anyone 18 and older will be arrested.
Minors will go through the juvenile system.