Colo. AG files fourth lawsuit against alleged 'spice' retailer

By Bryan Cohen | May 21, 2014


DENVER (Legal Newsline) - Colorado Attorney General John Suthers filed a lawsuit on Monday against a Colorado Springs convenience store, its owner and the owner's husband after they allegedly sold synthetic drugs known as "spice" products.

Spice products are synthetic cannabinoids that can cause hallucinations, agitation, vomiting, paranoia, elevated blood pressure, seizures and non-responsiveness. PoPo Wee Mart LLC, store owner Jin Ju Kim and husband Wanhee Lee allegedly sold spice products in packages labeled as "potpourri," "botanical sachet" and "herbal incense," with the knowledge they were being sold for human consumption.

In December, the Narcotics and Intelligence Division of Colorado Springs Metro Vice (Metro VNI) allegedly removed 1,505 packages of spice products from PoPo Wee Mart. Kim allegedly continued to sell spice products into 2014. Metro VNI allegedly seized spice products from the store again in February.

"Since spice is a synthetic cannabinoid, people facing drug tests are using these products as a substitute for marijuana, however this is a misnomer because the effects of spice are closer to those of PCP," Suthers said. "Spice products are extremely dangerous as well as illegal and we will continue to prosecute retailers selling it."

Suthers' lawsuit seeks the maximum civil penalty of up to $2,000 per violation and disgorgement of profits from spice sales. The suit contends that each offering for sale of the packages counts as a separate violation.

Suthers previously sued the Longmont-based Tobacco King, the Aurora-based Paymon's and the Denver-based O's Pipes & Tobacco over allegations of selling spice products.

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