HARRODSBURG — Mercer County has joined a growing number of county and city governments in Kentucky that are banning synthetic drugs.
Mercer Fiscal Court passed the second reading and adoption Tuesday of an ordinance banning the possession or sale of synthetic marijuana or cannabinoids.
“These substances are harmful if consumed and present a significant public health danger that can result in hospitalization or death,” the ordinance states.
Violation of the new ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $500 or both.
Synthetic drugs are not a major problem in the area, but officials wanted to have a law on the record because surrounding counties have passed the laws, said Mercer Sheriff Ernie Kelty after the meeting.
“We don’t want to leave the door open for people to come into Mercer County to use or sell these substances,”¿Kelty said.
Lancaster, Lincoln County and Nicholasville have recently worked on similar laws banning synthetic drugs, along with many other cities and counties around the state.
In other Fiscal Court business, three roads will be resurfaced in fiscal year 2012-13 using $410,000 of state funding under the rural secondary program, Mercer County Fiscal¿Court voted Tuesday.
Kentucky Transportation¿Cabinet staff members recommended the funds be used to resurface a 1.86 mile portion of Bethel Road (Ky. 926), a 1.55 mile stretch of Bradley Lane (Ky. 1941) and nearly 1.74 miles of McCouns Ferry Road (Ky. 1987). Magistrates voted 5-0 to accept the state’s recommendations. Magistrate Wayne Jackson was absent due to a work obligation.
Mercer Judge-Executive Milward Dedman said after the meeting that the roads are already in pretty fair shape, especially when compared to some rural roads in neighboring counties. The county is on a schedule to resurface its roads every 13 to 18 years depending on state funding.