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Marine Corps opens crime-tips website to combat use of Spice

With names such as K2, RedXDawn and LA Spice, the drug is targeted at military servicemembers and youths, city and state leaders said.

KELLEY MCCALL/ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

By TRAVIS J. TRITTEN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 10, 2011

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Marine Corps on Okinawa has created a crime-tips website to combat the use of designer drugs known as Spice, officials said Thursday.

The site allows servicemembers and others to log on and provide information anonymously about use of synthetic marijuana and other crimes to the Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division “from the comfort of their home” via an online report form, the service said in a news release.

Various forms of synthetic marijuana, most commonly called Spice, have swept the United States and caused a major crackdown by the military and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which placed an emergency ban on five substances used to make Spice earlier this month.

The Air Force told Stars and Stripes last week that it can now test urine for several forms of Spice when it involves a criminal investigation. Most of the military has banned Spice outright.

Meanwhile, hundreds of servicemembers have been punished or separated in recent months, including cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy and midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, according to information released by the Navy and Air Force.

The Okinawa crime-tip site is the latest effort to curb the availability and use of the designer drugs, which are sprayed onto dried herbs and smoked to produce a feeling of euphoria. The compounds are also reported to cause panic attacks, hallucinations, vomiting and bouts of anger.

The Marine Corps site was set up after requests for an alternate way to report crimes, particularly the use of Spice, Chief Warrant Officer Jeffery Rodriguez, officer-in-charge of CID at Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, said in the release.

Witnesses can file an anonymous crime report by logging onto www.marines.mil/unit/mcbbutler/Pages/PMO/CrimeTip.aspx, according to the Marine Corps.

“The primary avenue to report crimes is your chain of command or by notifying law enforcement personally,” Rodriguez said. “An identifiable eye-witness with a signed and sworn statement is the best evidence, but the ACT report was designed as an avenue to capture the information about crimes we would not have obtained otherwise.”

The site went live on Tuesday.

trittent@pstripes.osd.mil

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