VILLAGE OF MATTOON (WAOW) -- K2 continues to be a hot topic in cities across the state and now the village of Mattoon takes action against users.
The village board passed the ordinance earlier this month and as of this weekend, it's officially on the books. And even without local law enforcement, village leaders said they hope to keep their homes a little safer because of the ban.
"We looked our community and thought, let's ban this as soon as possible," said Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel.
The village of Mattoon may seem small but that doesn't mean they tiptoe around big issues. This past weekend their K2 ban went into effect, following in the footsteps of many other local municipalities.
"We don't want to have to deal with kids who are buying K2 because it's legal in Wausau and then because of the injuries or because of the possible deaths, then pass the ordinance," said Hardel.
The city of Wausau passed their own ordinance earlier this month. Hardel called it a pre-emptive strike against the dangerous drug.
"We have not had any serious incidents like that in Wausau, thank goodness," said Hardel, "but we have had K2 in possession of children."
One difference between Wausau's ban and Mattoon's comes with enforcement. Wausau has their own police division...Mattoon does not. But just because they don't have a hometown force doesn't mean there won't be anyone to lay down the law.
"If they pass an ordinance that bans K2 or synthetic marijuana, it would be the Sheriff's department that governs their enforcement," said Hardel.
Some people in Mattoon said they've never even heard of the drug. And even though city leaders risk new exposure by creating these bans, Hardel said it's better safe than sorry.
"I think it's a balancing act," said Hardel. "Flip side of that is if we wait for the impact that synthetic marijuana has on the community, it could be too late."
Mattoon leaders said they hope people will be on their toes, helping look for offenders and people who use K2 in their small community.